Nov+3 - Are signed languages different? American Sign...

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Are signed languages different?
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American Sign Language ( ASL ) [NOT fingerspelling] How do we decide if it is a bona fide language? Does it have comparable generative systems to those of English? Phonology Syntax Does it have comparable classes of elements? Lexicon Inventory of phonemes
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ASL has approximately 18 handshapes, 12 locations, and 23 types of movements Minimal pair, differing in location Facial expression is not a distinctive lexical feature, but it is a distinctive syntactic feature: e.g., question vs. statement
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Phonological Rules in ASL Signs made with both hands moving independently must have identical hand-shapes and movements (as in “star”) For signs which have nonidentical handshapes, one hand serves as a base and usually remains stationary while the other executes the movement . Normally, the base is one of only 6 handshapes. “cheese” “cookie”
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Is ASL iconic (and therefore more primitive or limited than spoken languages) ? The unlimited generative capacity of
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Nov+3 - Are signed languages different? American Sign...

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