Handshape in Sign Language Phonology

Autor/a: BRENTARI, Diane
Año: 2011
Editorial: Chicago: Blackwell, 2011
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística, Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


This chapter is concerned with the sub-lexical structure of sign language phonology: features and their organization into phonological units, such as the segment, syllable and word. It is organized around three themes – structure, modality, and iconicity – because these themes have been well-studied since the inception of the field and they touch on the reasons why the consideration of sign languages is essential if one wishes to understand the full range of possibilities of the phonology of natural languages. The cumulative work described here makes two main arguments. First, modality affects the phonological representation in sign and spoken languages; that is, the phonological structure represents the strengths of the phonetic and physiological systems employed. Without a comparison between sign and spoken languages, it is easy to lose sight of this point. Second, iconicity works with phonology, not against it. It is one of the pressures – like ease of perception and ease of production – that shape a phonological system. This interaction is more readily seen in sign languages because of the availability of visual iconicity and the ease with which it is assumed by phonological structures.