LINGUIST List 10.1832

Tue Nov 30 1999

Qs: Italian Sign Lang, History of English Lang

Editor for this issue: Jody Huellmantel <jodylinguistlist.org>


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Directory

  1. Kimberlina Casali, Phonology & Phonetics of Italian Sign Lang
  2. Hank Mooney, Alternate theories about the history of the English language

Message 1: Phonology & Phonetics of Italian Sign Lang

Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 21:11:43 +0300
From: Kimberlina Casali <anilmikworldnet.att.net>
Subject: Phonology & Phonetics of Italian Sign Lang


Hello,

I am a student currently attending Columbia University, New York, US,
and I am also involved in analyzing and researching Italian Sign
Language. I desire to learn much more information than what is
available in our libraries in reference to phonemes with the Italian
Sign Language.

Does Italian Sign Language have a phonetic/phonemic distinction versus
spoken languages? If so, can you illustrate this distinction using
actual examples from Italian Sign Language? 
To what extent does a complete, neat parallel exist between spoken and
signed languages on the issue of phonemics versus phonetics? 
For example, can we speak of a relatively small, discrete set of
'phonemic' signs from which other signs are derived? Can we speak of
constraints on combinations of signs in the same way that Italian or
other spoken languages have constraints on the combination of
consonants?
 
I appreciate any assistance whatsoever that you can send me. If much
time is needed to translate your information if any, into English then
please just send it in Italian and I will translate the material
myself.

Thank you very much.

Kimberlina
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Message 2: Alternate theories about the history of the English language

Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 15:26:38 -0800
From: Hank Mooney <HMooneymfi.com>
Subject: Alternate theories about the history of the English language

For years I've entertained the theory that the traditional description
of the development of English--in which Eng. is identified primarily
as a Germanic language with a large complement of Latin-based
vocabulary acquired from Norman French--is wrong.

Two other possible scenarios exist:

1) That English is actually a direct linear descendant of *Norman
French*, with a significant complement of core Germanic vocabulary left
over from Anglo-Saxon.

2) More interestingly, that English is actually a *Creole*, having
developed out of some sort of Pidgin-like language developed in the very
early days of the Conquest. There would, of course, be no written record
of a Pidgin, since it would only have been used in day-to-day trade
situations and the like.

I know that years ago I came across at least one published source that
contained an argument similar to the above. But I did not keep the
reference, and have been unable to find it again. Does anyone on the
list know of any such sources? What do list-memeber Creolists and/or
specialists in the history of English think of this theory in general?

Hank Mooney
hmooneymfi.com
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