ERIC Number: ED414756
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Extending the Lexicon of Irish Sign Language (ISL).
Matthews, Patrick A.
TEANGA: The Irish Yearbook of Applied Linguistics, n16 p135-67 1996
Ways in which the lexicon of Irish Sign Language (ISL) has developed, and how it is being continually extended, are examined. Change occurs in several ways. Research to date indicates that there are 59 basic handshapes, from which all vocabulary items are created. Classifiers are used extensively in the nominal and verbal system of ISL, and 15 of the 59 configurations already mentioned are employed in their use. Classifier handshapes are iconic and iconicity serves as an inspiration for the resulting lexical form. Several categories of classifier exist: semantic; surface shape; tracing; holding; quantifying; and so on. Original iconic classifiers have also developed as independent vocabulary items. Many synchronic nominal forms originated as classifier verbal forms. Other factors influencing creation of ISL vocabulary include compounding, technology, and borrowing from English. Establishment of education for the deaf, creation of finger spelling, and development of initialized signs to aid instruction through signing have also influenced the direction of vocabulary creation. Contains 11 references. (MSE)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: For serial publication in which this article appears, see FL 024 940.