The possible range of variation between sign languages: universal grammar, modality and typological aspects

Autor/a: HOHENBERGER, Annette
Año: 2007
Editorial: Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2007
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística, Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


It is an indisputable though frustrating everyday experience that languages differ  from  each  other,  usually  up  to  complete  unintelligibility. That this variability  is  the  very  nature  of the human language faculty seems to be frankly denied by all those who think that at least for sign languages, there is just one universal sign language which is understood by all deaf signers around the globe. This myth is easily invalidated by empiricism and theory. As  for  empiricism, the many different sign languages of the world – a fraction of which is represented in this volume – are evidence that immense variability is also found in the visual-gestural  language  modality.  As  for theory,  Chomsky’s well-known  statement  that the  human language  faculty is “rich and diverse” (Chomsky 1965, 1981, 1986, 2001) embraces spoken languages as well as sign languages.

En: Pamela Perniss, Roland Pfau & Marcus Steinbach (eds.), Visible variation: comparative studies on sign language structure, pp. 341-383.