Evidence from sign language strongly supports three positions: (1) language is a coherent system with universal properties; (2) sign languages diverge from spoken languages in some aspects of their structure; and (3) domain-external factors can be identified that account for some crucial aspects of language structure - uniform and diverse - in both modalities. Assuming that any of these positions excludes the others defeats the purpose of the enterprise.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
My thanks to Mark Aronoff, Irit Meir and Carol Padden for helpful comments. Research on Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language is supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health-NIDCD (R01 DC 6473).
- New languages
- Sign language
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language