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A Grammatical Sketch of Sivia Sign Language.

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Title:A Grammatical Sketch of Sivia Sign Language.
Authors:Clark, Brenda R.
Contributors:Linguistics (department)
Keywords:sign language
Peru
sketch grammar
language documentation
South America
Date Issued:Dec 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:This sketch grammar presents what is currently known about Sivia Sign Language (LSSiv). It is a language native to Sivia, Peru, used by a small population of deaf and hearing people in the region. Data collected in 2015 and 2016 from native signers is used to describe the language's phonology, morphology, and syntax. Findings align well with the expectations for sign languages, and generational variations indicate ongoing development.
LSSiv uses relatively few distinctions in handshape and handedness, placing more importance on locative and non-manual features. Some free variation patterns lead to the proposal of an 'open' feature for handshapes, and orientations are considered to be largely morphological. Both of these are presented as topics for further investigation.
LSSiv's lexicon has a flexible class system in which many signs may be used as more than one part of speech, and only one derivational process has been found. Inflection takes the form of location-based agreement for most constituents, as well as shape or directional agreement for verbs with direct or indirect objects.
A number of meaningful handshapes are identified, which exhibit some features of 'classifiers'. Simultaneous morphemes which modify signs for size, shape, and intensity marking are also prevalent. Morpho-syntactic patterns relating to role shifts, focus, and phrasing need to be examined more closely.
The basic sign order for LSSiv is SOV, with final negation and question signs. A few potential serial verb constructions are also identified. Variations relate to pro-drop, levels of transitivity, and fronting. Observations about contrastive, resultative, and topicalized structures, as well as prosodic patterns, are introduced as areas for future research.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/62503
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Linguistics


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