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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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- Date Published: March 1989
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521360081
- length: 560 pages
- dimensions: 236 x 161 x 37 mm
- weight: 0.957kg
- availability: Unavailable - out of print July 1996
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Orthographic conventions and descriptive terms
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
Index of signs
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