LSA.240 | Introduction to the Morphology and Syntax of Sign Languages
Gaurav Mathur and Christian Rathmann
course web site: http://lsa.dlp.mit.edu/Class/240
This course gives an introduction to the morphology and syntax of sign languages. We first discuss the relative prominence of nonconcatenative and concatenative morphology, given that many morphological processes interact with signing space in signed languages. Then, we examine the structure and meaning of three functional categories (tense, aspect and agreement) and review three kinds of constructions (wh-formation, negation and modals). Throughout the course, we draw on recent cross-linguistic studies of sign languages and investigate whether there are modality-specific (i.e. auditory-vocal vs. visual-manual) effects on the universal properties of a language.
Prerequisites: General knowledge of linguistics. No background in sign languages, including ASL, is necessary.
Title: The Signs of Language
Author: Klima, Edward and Ursula Bellugi
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Title: The Syntax of American Sign Language: Functional catergories and Hierarchial structure
Author: Neidle, C., J. Kegl, D. Maclaughlin, B. Bahan and R. Lee.