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By Debra AArons
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Additional resources for Aspects of the Syntax of American Sign Language
2 Availability of the Data As far as ASL is concerned, linguistic data are much less readily available to the researcher in the form in which linguistic data from other languages might be obtained. ASL is a language without an orthography. , 1965) but none of these has caught on and been accepted on a grand scale. Thus, there are no written texts containing linguistic data to which the researcher can refer. ASL also differs from most other languages (including other non-written languages) in that the majority of the users of ASL are not native.
Shifting exploits the fact that characters are established at a spatial location. This is a use of space that maintains the cohesion of the discourse, as unique referents are set up and referred to 5 Thus, the sign for TOMORROW is made with an A-handshape (a balled fist with the thumb extended) with the thumb touching the cheek and then moving forward to a point in front of the signer’s face: the sign for YESTERDAY is made with the thumb touching the signer’s cheek and then moving backwards to a point on the face below the signer’s ear.
2 presents a very brief overview of the theoretical framework used in this dissertation. 3 discusses non-manual marking in ASL, which plays an important role in the expression of grammatical information. Proposals made by different researchers about the nature of non-manual marking and the scope of its spread over particular domains are described briefly. 4 is concerned with word order in ASL, and details the attempts made to establish the underlying word order in the ASL sentence through the examination of prosody, non-manual marking, and the morphological properties of certain verb classes.
Aspects of the Syntax of American Sign Language by Debra AArons