Sign Languages of Aboriginal Australia: Cultural, Semiotic and Communicative Perspectives

Sign Languages of Aboriginal Australia: Cultural, Semiotic and Communicative Perspectives


By (author) Adam Kendon

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Paperback $44.40
  • Format: Hardback | 560 pages
  • Dimensions: 161mm x 236mm x 37mm | 957g
  • Publication date: 9 March 1989
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521360080
  • ISBN 13: 9780521360081
  • Illustrations note: 6 maps, diagrams

Product description

Originally published in 1988, this was the first book-length study ever to be published on the subject of sign language as a means of communication among Australian Aborigines. The work presented in this book filled an important gap in Aboriginal ethnography and linguistics. It also marked a major advance in the understanding of the relationship between medium of expression, code structure and communication; the processes by which spoken language may be represented in a non-vocal medium; and native speaker awareness of spoken language structure. Based on fieldwork conducted over a span of nine years, the volume presents a thorough analysis of the structure of sign languages and their relationship to spoken languages.

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Table of contents

List of illustrations; Preface; Orthographic conventions and descriptive terms; 1. Introduction; 2. Aboriginal sign languages observed: a history; 3. Aboriginal sign languages observed: geographical review; 4. North central desert background; 5. Sign structures; 6. Sign forming and sign meaning; 7. Sign organization and word structure; 8. Signing spoken language grammar; 9. Discourse in sign and speech; 10. Signing and speaking simultaneously; 11. Signs of kinship; 12. Comparing Aboriginal sign languages; 13. Australian Aboriginal sign languages and other semiotic systems; 14. Aboriginal interaction and Aboriginal sign language; Appendix I. Sign notation symbols; Appendix II. Two versions of a Warlpiri story; References; Index of signs; General index.