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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."



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Dissertation Information


Title: Using Space in German Sign Language. (Deutsch: Aspekte der Raumnutzung in der Deutschen Gebärdensprache) Add Dissertation
Author: Jörg Keller Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main, Department of German Language and Literature
Completed in: 1996
Linguistic Subfield(s): Syntax;
Subject Language(s): German Sign Language
Director(s): Siegmund Prillwitz
Helen Leuninger
Heinz Vater

Abstract: In my Ph.D.-thesis, I have investigated the use of space in German Sign Language (DGS) and have identified the major parameters that govern the placement and displacement of objects in signing space in DGS. A number of linguistic regularities are revealed and several principles of the grammar of space are proposed. Empirical evidence is provided that ultimately favors the locative hypothesis. The discussion shows that Generative Grammar (Chomsky, 1981ff.), Discourse Representation Theory (Kamp/Reyle, 1993), and Conceptual Semantics (Jackendoff, 1972ff.) all contribute to a fruitful understanding of the linguistics of space. The discussion includes the details of object placement (see below), the phenomenon of quantification in space, a model of the restricted use of pronominal forms, the specification of the categorial nature of locus-assigners as postpositions, and some hitherto not well understood forms of signs in DGS (and other sign languages), and a comparison of seemingly distinct classes of verbs.