How different are sign languages across the world? Are individual signs and signed sentences constructed in the same way across these languages? What are the rules for having a conversation in a sign language? How do children and adults learn a sign language? How are sign languages processed in the brain? These questions and many more are addressed in this introductory book on sign linguistics using examples from more than thirty different sign languages. Comparisons are also made with spoken languages. This book can be used as a self-study book or as a text book for students of sign linguistics.
Current research in African Linguistics recognizes and honors Oladele Awobuluyi's contributions to African linguistics. The contributors, an international group of scholars, represent four generations of African linguists who have been influenced by Awobuluyi's work as a scholar and teacher. The papers are organized into three thematic sections, namely applied linguistics and sociolinguistics, phonology and morphology and syntax and semantics and their interfaces. The wide range of topics investigated in this volume will enhance the reader's understanding of current issues in the field of African linguistics today. Indeed, the book marks an important contribution to the expanding work on language documentation and comparative linguistics by presenting data and linguistics analysis from a number of different African languages.
Usage-based linguistics, which is currently very popular, bases its understanding of language on two key points: Languages are cognitive-social constructs (i.e., learned vs genetically endowed), and, in order for communication and meaning to happen, speakers must find a way to meet/understand each other, overcoming various differences (lexicon, social, register, etc.) to arrive there. In this book, high-level contributors combine research from various usage-based perspectives to explore these questions: How do proficient speakers accomplish 'mental contact' or communication through the available semiotic linguistic resources they share with other members of their discourse community? How do young children learn to accomplish this? And how do speakers of multiple languages learn to accomplish this across languages?
The discourses of the post-apartheid South Africa embody symbols of change and promises of new lessons in history. This is the first volume that brings together analyses of a variety of discourses produced in South Africa through which we follow the evolution of transitional processes in the country's political institutions and in the opinions of its populace. The book offers to the reader a visit to the Parliament, a peek into the internet forums, analyses of the country's official papers and speeches, and the media accounts. Through all these discourses we see the burning questions - "Who Are We Now?" and "Who Do We Want To Be?" - being repetitively examined and identities cross-formed while the country deals with new, post-apartheid challenges, as well as successes.