A Language in Space: The Story of Israeli Sign Language, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

A Language in Space

The Story of Israeli Sign Language, 1st Edition

By Irit Meir, Wendy Sandler

Psychology Press

352 pages

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Paperback: 9780805862652
pub: 2007-09-07
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pub: 2007-09-07
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This English version of A Language in Space: The Story of Israeli Sign Language, which received the Bahat Award for most outstanding book for a general audience in its Hebrew edition, is an introduction to sign language using Israeli Sign Language (ISL) as a model. Authors Irit Meir and Wendy Sandler offer a glimpse into a number of fascinating descriptions of the ISL community to which linguists and other researchers may not have access. An underlying premise of the book is that language is a mental system with universal properties, and that language lives through people.

A clear and engaging read, A Language in Space addresses relevant aspects of sign language, including the most abstract questions and matters related to society and community. Divided into three parts, the book covers:

  • the linguistic structure of Israeli Sign Language;
  • the language and its community; and
  • a broad depiction of ISL and the contribution of sign language research to linguistic theory.

This book is intended for linguists (with or without a background in sign language), psychologists, sociologists, educators, students, and anyone with an interest in the human capacity for language.


"A superb book from every point of view…The book is clear, extremely readable, and fascinating…from a perspective that is well developed, theoretically deep, and informed by the most up-to-date research in the field."

Yosef Grodzinsky

McGill University

"This original and timely book will definitely be an important addition to LEA's growing list in signing and deaf studies."

Dan Slobin


Table of Contents

Contents: Israeli Sign Language: Language and People. The Basic Components of the Word in Sign Language. Vocabulary. Grammar in Space: The Pronominal System. Grammar in Space: Verb Agreement. Tenses and Aspects. Shapes, Locations, and Motions in Space: Classifier Constructions. Word Order. Negative and Interrogative Sentences. Beyond the Hands: Facial Expression as Intonation in ISL. The History of the Deaf Community in Israel. The Emergence and Development of ISL. Voices From the Community. Similarities and Differences Across Sign Languages. The Contribution of Sign Languages to Linguistic Research. Appendix A: List of Handshapes of Israeli Sign Language. Appendix B: Main Places of Articulation in Israeli Sign Language. Appendix C: Notational Conventions.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Neuropsychology