LINGUIST List 21.3268

Fri Aug 13 2010

Books: Language Documentation: Davis

Editor for this issue: Maria Moreno-Rollins <>

        1.    Daniel Davies, Hand Talk: Davis

Message 1: Hand Talk: Davis
Date: 11-Aug-2010
From: Daniel Davies <>
Subject: Hand Talk: Davis
E-mail this message to a friend

Title: Hand Talk Subtitle: Sign Language among American Indian Nations Published: 2010 Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Author: Jeffrey E. Davis Hardback: ISBN: 9780521870108 Pages: 274 Price: U.K. £ 55.00
Paperback: ISBN: 9780521690300 Pages: 274 Price: U.K. £ 19.99

American Indian nations of the Great Plains and cultural groups bordering thisgeographic area spoke so many different languages that verbal communicationbetween them was difficult. As extensive trade networks developed andpolitical alliances became necessary, an elegant language of the handsdeveloped that cut across spoken language barriers. Though now endangered,this sign language continues to serve a vital role in traditionalstorytelling, rituals, legends, prayers, conversational narratives, and asa primary language of American Indians who are deaf. This volume containsthe most current descriptions of all levels of the language from phonologyto discourse, as well as comparisons with other sign languages. This is thefirst work of its kind to be produced in more than a century, and isintended for students of sign language as well as those wishing to learnmore about American Indian languages and cultures.

- The first work of this depth and scope produced in more than a century,fillsa major gap in the general and research literature- Rare photographs enable readers to view the sign language being described- The accompanying website includes films demonstrating the sign languagein action


1. The language landscape;2. Earliest historical linguistic accounts;3. A national treasure;4. Early sign language studies;5. The spectrum of discourse;6. The convergence of anthropology and linguistics;7. Comparative studies of historical relatedness;8. Linguistic analysis of PISL;9. Conclusions.


'With its very comprehensive account of the study and structure of PlainsIndian Sign Language, with the valuable links that it provides to signlanguages used by deaf people and with its accompanying website, thisvolume is a wonderful and timely resource.' Ceil Lucas, Gallaudet University

'This is not just another book! It is a riveting narrative of an endangeredNative American sign language that has served an essential role in NativeAmerican culture and life. For sign language studies, Native Americanstudies, linguistics, anthropology, and a host of other alliedprofessionals, aswell as for the American public, Jeff Davis has made a momentousprofessional and social contribution. This is a landmark work that deservesthe widest professional and popular audience.' Walt Wolfram, North CarolinaState University

Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation
Written In: English (eng )

See this book announcement on our website:

-------------------------- Major Supporters --------------------------


Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Cambridge University Press

Cascadilla Press

Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd

De Gruyter Mouton

Edinburgh University Press

Elsevier Ltd

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Equinox Publishing Ltd

European Language Resources Association - ELRA

Georgetown University Press

John Benjamins

Lincom GmbH

MIT Press

Morgan & Claypool Publishers

Multilingual Matters

Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH + Co. KG

Oxford University Press

Palgrave Macmillan

Peter Lang AG


Routledge (Taylor and Francis)


University of Toronto Press


---------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ----------------------

Association of Editors of the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics

Graduate Linguistic Students' Association, Umass

International Pragmatics Assoc.

Langues et Linguistique

Linguistic Association of Finland

Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke - LOT

Pacific Linguistics

SIL International

St. Jerome Publishing Ltd

Utrecht institute of Linguistics

Page Updated: 13-Aug-2010