LINGUIST List 26.3260

Fri Jul 10 2015

Books: Where do nouns come from?: Haviland (ed.)

Editor for this issue: Sara Couture <>

Date: 06-Jul-2015
From: Karin Plijnaar <>
Subject: Where do nouns come from?: Haviland (ed.)
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Title: Where do nouns come from?
Series Title: Benjamins Current Topics 70
Published: 2015
Publisher: John Benjamins

Book URL:

Editor: John B. Haviland
Electronic: ISBN: 9789027268501 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 80.00
Electronic: ISBN: 9789027268501 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 120.00
Electronic: ISBN: 9789027268501 Pages: Price: U.K. £ 67.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9789027242587 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 120.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9789027242587 Pages: Price: U.K. £ 67.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9789027242587 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 84.80

The noun is an apparent cross-linguistic universal; nouns are central targets of language acquisition; they are frequently prototypical exemplars of Saussurian arbitrariness. This volume considers nouns in sign languages and in the evanescent performances of homesigners (and gesturers), which exhibit considerable iconic motivation. Do such systems mark nouns formally? Do they share strategies for forming nominal expressions? Individual chapters consider formal criteria for a noun/verb distinction in sign languages with different socio-linguistic profiles, strategies of “patterned iconicity” in a subcategory of nouns in both well-established and emerging sign languages, grammatical markers for a nominal class in a first generation family homesign system from Mexico, and the changing role of handshapes in signs referring to action and objects over the gradual development of a single deaf child’s homesign. The volume is of special interest to scholars of gesture, sign languages, linguistic typology, and the evolution, socialization, and ethnography of language. Originally published in Gesture Vol. 13:3 (2013).

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
                            Language Acquisition

Written In: English (eng)

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