LINGUIST List 21.3335

Wed Aug 18 2010

Books: Semantics/Sociolinguistics: Taub

Editor for this issue: Maria Moreno-Rollins <>

        1.    Daniel Davies, Language from the Body: Taub

Message 1: Language from the Body: Taub
Date: 11-Aug-2010
From: Daniel Davies <>
Subject: Language from the Body: Taub
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Title: Language from the Body Subtitle: Iconicity and Metaphor in American Sign Language Published: 2010 Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Author: Sarah F Taub Electronic: ISBN: 9780511034138 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 60.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9780521770620 Pages: 272 Price: U.K. £ 52.00 Comment: published in 2001
Paperback: ISBN: 9780521158602 Pages: 272 Price: U.K. £ 11.99

New Edition

What is the role of meaning in linguistic theory? Generative linguists haveseverely limited the influence of meaning, claiming that language is notaffected by other cognitive processes and that semantics does not influencelinguistic form. Conversely, cognitivist and functionalist linguistsbelieve that meaning pervades and motivates all levels of linguisticstructure. This dispute can be resolved conclusively by evidence fromsigned languages. Signed languages are full of iconic linguistic items:words, inflections, and even syntactic constructions with structuralsimilarities between their physical form and their referents' form. Iconicitems can have concrete meanings and also abstract meanings throughconceptual metaphors. Language from the Body rebuts the generativistlinguistic theories which separate form and meaning and asserts thaticonicity can only be described in a cognitivist framework where meaningcan influence form.

- Serves as a brief introduction to cognitive linguistics- Written in an accessible style appropriate for non-specialists- Includes analysis of American Sign Language poem


1. A glimpse of the material;2. Motivation and linguistic theory;3. Iconicity defined and demonstrated;4. The analogue-building model of linguistic iconicity;5. Survey of iconicity in signed and spoken languages;6. Metaphor in American Sign Language: the double mapping;7. Many metaphors in a single sign;8. The vertical scale as source domain;9. Verb agreement paths in American Sign Language;10. Complex superposition of metaphors in an American Sign Language poem;11. The future of signed-language research;Appendices;References;Index.

Linguistic Field(s): Semantics                             Sociolinguistics
Subject Language(s): American Sign Language (ase)
Written In: English (eng )

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