Sign Language of the Deaf

Sign Language of the Deaf

Psychological, Linguistic, and Sociological Perspectives

1st Edition - February 28, 1978

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  • Editors: I. M. Schlesinger, Lila Namir
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483271958

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Sign Language of the Deaf: Psychological, Linguistic, and Sociological Perspectives provides information pertinent to the psychological, educational, social, and linguistic aspects of sign language. This book presents the development in the study of sign language. Organized into four parts encompassing 10 chapters, this book begins with an overview of the fascinating account of sign language acquisition by small children. This text then explores the grammar of sign language and discusses the linguistic status of natural and contrived sign languages. Other chapters consider the many peculiarities of the lexicon and grammar of sign language, and its differences in such respects from oral language. This book discusses as well sign language from the angle of psycholinguistics. The final chapter deals with the educational implications of the use of sign language. This book is a valuable resource for linguists and psycholinguists. Readers who are interested in sign language will also find this book useful.

Table of Contents

  • List of Contributors



    Part I Phylogeny and Ontogeny

    1 The Phylogeny of Sign Language

    The Question of Animal Language

    Anthropoid Ape Communication

    Theories About Gesture and Language—Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

    Early Nineteenth-Century Gestural Theories of Language Origin

    Contemporary Gestural Theories of Language Origin

    "Equal Time" Theories: Gestural and Vocal Languages Developed Together

    Glottogenesis and Tools

    Hunting and Glottogenesis

    Language and the Mediation of Thought

    Cognitive Demands on the Human Brain

    The Antiquity of Spoken Language

    Language after the Shift to Speech



    2 The Acquisition of Bimodal Language

    Design Features in Speech and Sign

    Nontraditional Language Acquisition

    Traditional Transmission—Deaf Children of Deaf Parents

    Connie's Children


    Part II Linguistic Aspects

    3 The Grammar of Sign Language

    The Problem of Sign Language Grammar

    Relative Position of Signs

    The Grammatical Armory of Sign Language


    4 Contrived Sign Language

    Problems of Definition

    Design Features for Language

    Isomorphism between Speech and Signing

    Classificatory Criteria for Signing Behavior

    Contrived Signing Systems


    5 Bilingual Interference


    Word and Sign

    Bilingual Interference in Utterances



    Part III Psychological, Sociological, and Educational Aspects

    6 Some Psycholinguistic Aspects of Sign Language

    Perception and the Production of Language

    Perception and the Comprehension of Language

    Perspectives and Conclusions


    7 Sociolinguistic Aspects of the Use of Sign Language

    Linguistic Methodology and Sociolinguistic Research

    Sociolinguistics and Gestural Sign Language

    Sociolinguistic Implications of Field Studies of Deaf Adults and Deaf Children

    Cognitive Processes and Normatively Sanctioned Representational Systems

    Concluding Remarks


    8 Social-Psychological Aspects of the Use of Sign Language

    Being Different

    Sign Language and Total Communication

    Communication between Deaf and Hearing Persons

    Sign Language Interpreters

    Family Constellations of the Deaf

    Linguistic Problems in Connection with Mental Illness

    The Deaf and the Christian Church

    Associations and Clubs for the Deaf

    Bulletins and Periodicals

    Autobiographies and Fiction Dealing with the Deaf

    Sign Language Dictionaries

    Utilization of Films, TV, and Videotape

    Theater of the Deaf

    Concluding Remarks


    9 Sign Language in the Education of the Deaf

    The Varieties of Language

    A Little Bit of the Recent History of the Education of the Deaf

    Some Consequences of the Demography of Deafness

    Manual Communication Instructional Materials

    Learning a Communication Code—A Language


    The Current State of Affairs

    Some Final Words


    Part IV Methodological Problems

    10 Problems in Sign Language Research

    Extrinsic Problems

    Intrinsic Problems

    Theories of Language



Product details

  • No. of pages: 394
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1978
  • Published: February 28, 1978
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483271958

About the Editors

I. M. Schlesinger

Lila Namir

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