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Richard P. Meier, Chair CLA 4.304, Mailcode B5100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-1701

Lynn Y Hou

Contact

Interests

Documentary sign linguistics, child language acquisition and socialization, linguistics of signed languages with a focus on morphology & morpho-syntax, cross-modal typology

ASL 326 • Sign Langs & Signing Communs

40830 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CLA 1.108
(also listed as LIN 350 )
show description

In the past few decades, research has shown that sign languages of deaf people are natural languages with their own grammars.  These grammars are not manual representations of spoken languages in surrounding communities, as they were once thought to be.  The study of sign languages allows us to test multiple claims about the nature of human languages: by comparing the structure of signed and spoken languages, we start thinking about how languages are shaped by the particular transmission modality in which they are channeled:  How are spoken languages structured the way they are because they are spoken and heard?  How are signed languages structured the way they are because they are signed and seen?  And lastly, how are all languages – signed or spoken – structured similarly because they all draw on the same linguistic and cognitive capacities?  Furthermore, studying sign languages would not be complete without studying the signing communities in which these languages emerged, flourished, and changed.  In this class, we will cover a wide range of diverse issues including but are not limited to: (1) historical changes of perspectives toward sign languages; (2) the grammatical structure of ASL and other sign languages with an emphasis on iconicity; (3) differences between artificial signing systems and sign languages; (4) acquisition of sign language by deaf children who are raised in signing households and/or who attend a school for the deaf; (5) the emergence and development of different types of sign languages and their signing communities, “Deaf community” and “village” sign languages.

LIN 350 • Sign Langs & Signing Communs

40960 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CLA 1.108
(also listed as ASL 326 )
show description

In the past few decades, research has shown that sign languages of deaf people are natural languages with their own grammars.  These grammars are not manual representations of spoken languages in surrounding communities, as they were once thought to be.  The study of sign languages allows us to test multiple claims about the nature of human languages: by comparing the structure of signed and spoken languages, we start thinking about how languages are shaped by the particular transmission modality in which they are channeled:  How are spoken languages structured the way they are because they are spoken and heard?  How are signed languages structured the way they are because they are signed and seen?  And lastly, how are all languages – signed or spoken – structured similarly because they all draw on the same linguistic and cognitive capacities?  Furthermore, studying sign languages would not be complete without studying the signing communities in which these languages emerged, flourished, and changed.  In this class, we will cover a wide range of diverse issues including but are not limited to: (1) historical changes of perspectives toward sign languages; (2) the grammatical structure of ASL and other sign languages with an emphasis on iconicity; (3) differences between artificial signing systems and sign languages; (4) acquisition of sign language by deaf children who are raised in signing households and/or who attend a school for the deaf; (5) the emergence and development of different types of sign languages and their signing communities, “Deaf community” and “village” sign languages.

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