Sign Language Studies

Sign Language Studies
Volume 4, Number 1, Fall 2003


Contents

Commentary

Articles

    Padden, Carol.
    Gunsauls, Darline Clark.
  • How the Alphabet Came to Be Used in a Sign Language
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    Subject Headings:
    • Sign language -- Alphabet -- History.
    • Finger spelling -- History.
    Abstract:
      This historical account of the development of the manual alphabet in ASL (and of representational systems in other sign languages) traces fingerspelling back to the monks of the seventh century, who devised a system for representing speech without needing to speak. Many years later, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, their manual alphabet underwent significant adaptation as a result of the contact between the monks and the deaf children they tutored. This article describes the evolution of the manual alphabet from that time to the present day.
    Bauman, H-Dirksen L.
  • Redesigning Literature: The Cinematic Poetics of American Sign Language Poetry
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    Subject Headings:
    • Deaf, Writings of the, American.
    • American poetry.
    • Deaf, Theater for the.
    Abstract:
      As literature and its criticism have evolved within speech and writing, the emergence of poetry in ASL raises important questions for anyone interested in the study of literature: Because ASL texts have no written form, can they rightfully be called “literature”? Would it be more accurate (though ironic) to speak of ASL texts as forms of “oral literature”? How does one even begin to discuss sign poetry? What lexicon should one use in identifying the poetic elements in a language without sound? This article explores the latter question concerning the lexicon of ASL poetics.
    Boudreau, Ginette.
  • Symbolic Properties of Graphical Actions
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    Subject Headings:
    • Signs and symbols.
    • Mental representation.
    • Psycholinguistics.
    Abstract:
      This study aims to determine whether graphical actions used in a military planning task with a map have symbolic properties that are similar to those of symbols of sign languages. Specifically, this article identifies (1) a lexicon of the graphical actions that military planners use to refer to significants on a map during a planning assessment; (2) the set of significants (objects, concepts, attributes, and relations) that the graphical actions designate or represent on the map; and (3) the analogical properties of graphical actions. The results suggest that graphical actions are manual symbols whose properties are similar to the symbols of sign languages.

Book Review Essay

    King, Barbara J., 1956-
  • Alternative Pathways for the Evolution of Gesture
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    Subject Headings:
    • Corballis, Michael C. From hand to mouth: the origins of language.
    • Language and languages -- Origin.

Book Review

    Armstrong, David F.
  • Language, Cognition, and the Brain: Insights from Sign Langauge Research (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Emmorey, Karen. Language, cognition, and the brain: insights from sign langauge research.
    • Sign language.



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