LSA 317: Structure and function in signed languages

Terry Janzen | six-week course | TuTh 10:30 – 12:15, 179 Stanley Hall

This course is a beginning graduate-level course that takes a cross-linguistic approach (although with some focus on ASL) to constructions in signed languages and their function at both the grammatical and discourse level. The course begins with a brief overview of sub-lexical structure in signed language. Topics discussed throughout the course include lexical categories, morphological complexes such as (so-called) classifier constructions, topic-comment structure and word order alternations within the clause. In each case we will look a issues of "fixed" structure versus the degree of variability allowed, as well as their range of functions in the discourse context. Prior experience in a signed language is not a requirement.

Reading: Selected materials available online.

Areas of linguistics: Language and thought; Syntax, semantics, and morphology

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