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Course Overview

A survey of the major features of the linguistics structure and social uses of American Sign Language. The course will cover four major topics: (1) Phonology: The Study of the Raw Materials of Signs, an examination of the structure of the physical signals of American Sign Language (ASL), the customary patterns for combining them, and influence of signs on one another in connected discourse; (2) Morphology; Building and Storing Words, the study of the basic meaningful units of ASL, including discussions of word creation, compounding, borrowing, affixation, and numeral incorporation. A discussion of the use of space in ASL, including an examination of verbs with subject and object agreement and of spatial-locative verbs; (3) Syntax: Building Sentences, the word order of ASL sentences, nonmanual syntactic signals, and discourse structures; and (4) Sociolinguistic Applications, a discussion of language variation and language contact in the deaf community.

Program: Linguistics

Credit: 1

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