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Academic Paper

Title: Syllables and Words in Thai Sign Language
Paper URL:
Author: Apiluck Tumtavitikul
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Kasetsart University
Author: Chirapa Niwatapant
Linguistic Field: General Linguistics
Subject Language: Thai Sign Language
Abstract: This paper studies the signs, syllables and words in Thai Sign Language based on Autosegmental Phonology (Goldsmith 1976, 1990) which is used for the analyses of American Sign Language and many other sign languages (Brentari 1996). Autosegmental phonology analyzes components of signs non-linearly, emphasizing on the simultaneity in time of the components. The results of this study show that a Thai Sign Language sign is composed of handshape, orientation, location and movement as well as other non-manual components. Each of these components functions to distinguish word meaning in the same manner as a phoneme does in a spoken language. Evidence for syllable internal structures is also found for Thai Sign Language. The syllable displays both aspects that are the same and different from that of a spoken language. Simultaneity in time is the most important characteristics of Thai Sign Language syllables. Moreover, Thai Sign Language displays behavior very much like that which is found in a spoken language, with variants, reduction and deletion of sign components and syllables. Syllables and words in Thai Sign Language are evident that the language consists of linguistic units and structures comparable to the phonological units and structures in a natural language.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Ratchasuda College
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