The Role Of Sign Language In Linguistics

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Sign language linguistics has not been a field in its own since 1960s, when the investigation researches started from a linguistic perspective about sign languages. Sign language was considered as a gesture-based aid only for communicating with people, not a whole language. While the early researches were focusing on explaining the fact that sign languages are not only simple languages, but an equivalent to spoken languages and having the same characteristics as the spoken. The researchers investigated the phonological structure of sign language (specifically American Sign Language) by using traditional linguistic tools. In earliest decades, researchers analyzed deeply in order to figure out the phonological and grammatical structure also of…show more content…
There is no culture without language, and no language without culture. Also the vocabulary is influenced by social, industrial, technological and other cultural changes. (2)
Linguistics and Sign Languages
The study of sign language is important to linguistics because it helps in understanding the very nature of human language, because sign languages are different from the spoken. Sign languages pose at least two important characteristics of language:
1- Every language has specific properties to share with other languages; for example, a hierarchy of morphemes, words, phrases, sentences...etc. 2- Every human has the capacity of communication with others via languages. (3)
Linguists consider sign languages rich and complex just as the spoken, in spite of the misunderstanding that they are not real languages. (Sandler and Diane 2006) They proved that sign languages share common features that have been found in all human languages, such as mode of communication, Semanticity, pragmatic function, cultural transmission, productivity, and arbitrariness. Linguists study sign languages today as true languages, and as a part of the linguistics field. (Netherlands
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