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Phonetics of sign location in ASL: Comments on papers by Russell, Wilkinson, & Janzen and by Grosvald & Corina

Phonetics of sign location in ASL: Comments on papers by Russell, Wilkinson, & Janzen and by... Martha E. tyronE Haskins Laboratories and Long Island University 1. Introduction In sign language research, there have been far fewer studies of the physical structure of signed language ­ or sign phonetics ­ than studies of the more traditional areas of linguistics, such as syntax or morphology. Research on signed language emerged much more recently than speech research, and in particular, it emerged at a time when the field of linguistics emphasized theory over empiricism. In addition, until a few decades ago, it was widely assumed by linguists as well as nonlinguists that signed languages were not on a par with spoken languages in terms of grammar or vocabulary. As a result, early sign language researchers continually had to demonstrate that signed languages were, in fact, languages, and consequently their research emphasized the similarities between signed and spoken languages over the modalities' differences. In all likelihood, these two factors both had the effect of limiting researchers' interest in phonetic analyses of signed languages. The studies by Russell, Wilkinson and Janzen (2011) and by Grosvald and Corina (this issue) reflect a growing interest in sign phonetics, and an expansion in the availability of tools and methods for sign phonetics http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Laboratory Phonology de Gruyter

Phonetics of sign location in ASL: Comments on papers by Russell, Wilkinson, & Janzen and by Grosvald & Corina

Laboratory Phonology , Volume 3 (1) – May 25, 2012

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by the
ISSN
1868-6346
eISSN
1868-6354
DOI
10.1515/lp-2012-0005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Martha E. tyronE Haskins Laboratories and Long Island University 1. Introduction In sign language research, there have been far fewer studies of the physical structure of signed language ­ or sign phonetics ­ than studies of the more traditional areas of linguistics, such as syntax or morphology. Research on signed language emerged much more recently than speech research, and in particular, it emerged at a time when the field of linguistics emphasized theory over empiricism. In addition, until a few decades ago, it was widely assumed by linguists as well as nonlinguists that signed languages were not on a par with spoken languages in terms of grammar or vocabulary. As a result, early sign language researchers continually had to demonstrate that signed languages were, in fact, languages, and consequently their research emphasized the similarities between signed and spoken languages over the modalities' differences. In all likelihood, these two factors both had the effect of limiting researchers' interest in phonetic analyses of signed languages. The studies by Russell, Wilkinson and Janzen (2011) and by Grosvald and Corina (this issue) reflect a growing interest in sign phonetics, and an expansion in the availability of tools and methods for sign phonetics

Journal

Laboratory Phonologyde Gruyter

Published: May 25, 2012

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