[Lingtyp] Americanist contributions to typology

Mike Morgan mwmbombay at gmail.com
Mon Jul 4 07:30:34 UTC 2016

Moving away -- for a moment only -- from the list of very important
specific individual topics, let me suggest also that one of the great
contributions of the Americanist tradition to the field of Linguistic
Typology has been the Study of Sign Languages.

While I am not sure that enough typological work on a wide enough
range of sign languages has yet been done to say that American Sign
Language (or any other sign langaueg of the Americas) possesses any
specific features which make it unique among sign languages, the fact
that it is sufficiently rich, and in a long list ways, the fact that
the lingusitic study of sign language got its start with the analysis
of Amercian SIgn Language, and got its start in a very traditional
American Structuralist way, has meant that SIgn Language studies in
the world, and in the field of Lingusitic Typology, is on a much
solider footing than might have obtained had that study not taken
place in that particular context.

And with the study of sign languages, Language Typology has been
opened up to a whole new modality (and also brought more into focus
enquiry into questions of the visual-spatial aspects of spoken
language discourse, such as gesture)

my 5 rupees worth..

Dr Michael W Morgan
mwm || *U*C> || mike || माईक || માઈક || মাঈক || மாஈக ||  مایک ||мика || 戊流岸マイク
sign language instructor / sign language linguist / linguistic typologist
academic advisor,
BBV (Bhartiya Badhir Vidyalaya), Lucknow (INDIA)
"People who are always looking down at the bottom line will always
fail to see the stars"

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