THE LINGUISTICS OF SIGN LANGUAGES

DFS2LSL

Not currently offered

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject, students will explore the linguistic structure of sign languages. The formational structure of sign languages (phonology), the organisation of sign language lexicons and grammatical systems (lexicology, morphology, syntax, discourse), and the way in which meanings are expressed (semantics and pragmatics) are all considered. Data are drawn from Auslan (Australian Sign Language) together with examples from other sign languages. The subject also introduces students to issues involved in sociolinguistic variation, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics of sign languages, as well as the relevance of sign language research for an understanding of human language in general.

SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorJames Blyth

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

PrerequisitesN/A

Co-requisitesN/A

Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Readings

Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsAustralian Sign Language (Auslan): an introduction to sign language linguisticsPrescribedJohnston, T and Schembri, A 2007CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS.
ReadingsSign language and linguistic universalsRecommendedSandler, W and Lillo-Martin, D 2005CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS.
ReadingsThe linguistics of British Sign Language: an introductionRecommendedSutton-Spence, R and Woll, B 1999CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS.

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Appraise the importance of studying sign languages for descriptive and theoretical linguistics.

Activities:
Reading, lectures, class discussion and exercises, essay and analysis of sign language video data.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Writing (Writing)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)

02. Explain, apply and critique mainstream accounts of sign phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics.

Activities:
Reading, lectures, class discussion and exercises, essay and analysis of sign language video data.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Writing (Writing)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)

03. Compare and contrast the features of sign languages that are inherently different from spoken languages and the impact this has on our understanding of language universals.

Activities:
Reading, lectures, class discussion and exercises, essay and analysis of sign language video data.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Writing (Writing)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)

04. Apply sign language research methodology to the analysis of sign language data.

Activities:
Reading, lectures, class discussion and exercises, essay and analysis of sign language video data.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Writing (Writing)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)

05. Appraise the importance of sign language research for an understanding of sociolinguistic variation, psycholinguistics and the neuroscience of language.

Activities:
Reading, lectures, class discussion and exercises, essay.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Writing (Writing)

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