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The Acquisition of Heritage Languages

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Academic Paper


Title: Visual intonation in two sign languages
Author: Svetlana Dachkovsky
Institution: University of Haifa
Author: Christina Healy
Institution: Gallaudet University
Author: Wendy Sandler
Institution: University of Haifa
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Pragmatics
Subject Language: American Sign Language
Israeli Sign Language
Abstract: In a detailed comparison of the intonational systems of two unrelated languages, Israeli Sign Language and American Sign Language, we show certain similarities as well as differences in the distribution of several articulations of different parts of the face and motions of the head. Differences between the two languages are explained on the basis of pragmatic notions related to information structure, such as accessibility and contingency, providing novel evidence that the system is inherently intonational, and only indirectly related to syntax. The study also identifies specific ways in which the physical modality in which language is expressed influences intonational structure.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 30, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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