LINGUIST List 10.1012

Wed Jun 30 1999

Books: Phonology of Sign Language

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  1. Jud Wolfskill, Phonology; A Prosodic Model of Sign Language Phonology, Brentari

Message 1: Phonology; A Prosodic Model of Sign Language Phonology, Brentari

Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 15:33:31 -0400
From: Jud Wolfskill <wolfskilMIT.EDU>
Subject: Phonology; A Prosodic Model of Sign Language Phonology, Brentari

The following is a book which readers of this list might find of
interest. For more information please visit

A Prosodic Model of Sign Language Phonology

Diane Brentari

This book is intended in part to provide linguists and cognitive
scientists who do not know sign language with a point of entry into
the study of sign language phonology. At the same time, it presents a
comprehensive theory of American Sign Language (ASL) phonology, while
reviewing and building on alternative theories. One claim of this
theoretical framework is that, because of sign language's
visual/gestural phonetic basis, the consonant-like units and
vowel-like units are expressed simultaneously with one another, rather
than sequentially as in spoken languages. A second claim is that
movements operate as the most basic prosodic units of the
language. The author is concerned to show both the similarities and
differences between signed and spoken languages, and to indicate some
directions for future work in cognitive science that can be derived
from her phonological model.

Diane Brentari is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Director of
the ASL Program at Purdue University. She has been a Visiting
Scientist at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at
Rutgers University.

Language, Speech, and Communication series

A Bradford Book

6 x 9, 384 pp., 185 illus.

cloth ISBN 0-262-02445-4

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