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Course Overview

A survey of the major features of the linguistic structure and social uses of American Sign Language. The course will cover four major topics: 1) Phonology, an examination of the structure of the physical signals of ASL, the customary patterns for combining them, and the influence of signs on one another in connected discourse; 2) Morphology, the study of the basic meaningful units of ASL, including discussions of word creation, compounding, borrowing, affixation, reduplication, temporal and distributional aspect, numeral incorporation, and 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, an examination of 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 and of language issues in deaf education in the United States.

Program: Linguistics

Credit: 3

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