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ERIC Number: EJ940519
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0302-1475
Pinky Extension as a Phonestheme in Mongolian Sign Language
Healy, Christina
Sign Language Studies, v11 n4 p575-593 Sum 2011
Mongolian Sign Language (MSL) is a visual-gestural language that developed from multiple languages interacting as a result of both geographic proximity and political relations and of the natural development of a communication system by deaf community members. Similar to the phonological systems of other signed languages, MSL combines handshapes, locations, movements, and facial expressions to form lexemes. This article focuses on one feature of MSL. Many signs with negative connotations are produced with a hand configuration in which the pinky is extended while the other fingers are all flexed. This article presents the data, reviews definitions of morphological processes and phonetic symbolism (sometimes called sound symbolism), and argues that the hand configuration is not a morpheme but a strong phonestheme. (Contains 2 notes and 7 figures.)
Gallaudet University Press. 800 Florida Avenue NE, Denison House, Washington, DC 20002-3695. Tel: 202-651-5488; Fax: 202-651-5489; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mongolia