This book takes a close look at the ways that five sign languages borrow elements from the surrounding, dominant spoken language community where each is situated. It offers careful analyses of semantic, morphosyntactic, and phonological adaption of forms taken from a source language (in this case a spoken language) to a recipient signed language. In addition, the contributions contained in the volume examine the social attitudes and cultural values that play a role in this linguistic process. Since the cultural identity of Deaf communities is manifested most strongly in their sign languages, this topic is of interest for cultural and linguistic reasons. Linguists interested in phonology, morphology, word formation, bilingualism, and linguistic anthropology will find this an interesting set of cases of language contact. Interpreters and sign language teachers will also find a wealth of interesting facts about the sign languages of these diverse Deaf communities.
"In offering cogent examples from a variety of sign languages, Brentari makes a most welcome contribution to the literature in this field."
Contents: D. Brentari, Introduction: Borrowed Elements in Sign Languages: A Window on Word Formation. P.B. Braem, Functions of the Mouthing Component in the Signing of Deaf Early and Late Learners of Swiss German Sign Language. M. Brennan, Making Borrowings Work in British Sign Language. D. Brentari, C.A. Padden, Native and Foreign Vocabulary in American Sign Language: A Lexicon With Multiple Origins. N. Hoiting, D.I. Slobin, Typological and Modality Constraints on Borrowing: Examples From the Sign Language of The Netherlands. C. Miller, The Adaptation of Loan Words in Quebec Sign Language: Multiple Sources, Multiple Processes.