Sign Language Science: Factors Contributing to Nature Structure


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This course details the development of the type of grammar that occurs whenever a group of people develops and uses a signed language.

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In this course, we will look at how people make sign language work—and to understand this, we have to analyze the actual language. In this course, Professor Ted Supalla will walk you through examples of how alterations within a sign can change its meaning and how this can affect word order in a sentence. This is discussed under the broad term “structure” because a number of things can influence signed language grammar. Many factors have to be considered, which is why we have to take a layered, cumulative approach here.

  • State the role of facial expression in the syntax of ASL
  • Define “spatialized syntax”
  • Name at least 2 categories of spatial verbs in ASL
  • State the relationship between spatial inflection and linear sign order for sentences
  • Define “frozen sign” and its role in ASL lexicon
  • Name at least two characteristics for how such loan signs can accept inflections
Sign Language Science: Factors Contributing to Nature Structure


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