Hand Talk : Sign Language Among American Indian Nations (Paperback)

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American Indian nations of the Great Plains and cultural groups bordering this geographic area spoke so many different languages that verbal communication between them was difficult. As extensive trade networks developed and political alliances became necessary, an elegant language of the hands developed that cut across spoken language barriers. Though now endangered, this sign language continues to serve a vital role in traditional storytelling, rituals, legends, prayers, conversational narratives, and as a primary language of American Indians who are deaf. This volume contains the most current descriptions of all levels of the language from phonology to discourse, as well as comparisons with other sign languages. A website accompanying the book contains rare photographs, illustrations, and films-offering readers the opportunity to view the sign language being described. This is the first work of its kind to be produced in more than a century, and is intended for students of sign language as well as those wishing to learn more about American Indian languages and cultures.

Jeffrey E. Davis is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Tennessee.

"With its very comprehensive account of the study and structure of Plains Indian Sign Language, with the valuable links that it provides to sign languages used by deaf people, and with its accompanying web site, this volume is a wonderful and timely resource."

Ceil Lucas, Professor of Linguistics, Gallaudet University

"This is not just another book! It is a riveting narrative of an endangered Native American sign language that has served an essential role in Native American culture and life. For sign language studies, Native American studies, linguistics, anthropology, and a host of other allied professions, as well as for the American public, Jeff Davis has made a momentous professional and social contribution. This is a landmark work that deserves the widest professional and popular audience."

Walt Wolfram, North Carolina State University

Specifications

Publisher Cambridge Univ Pr
Mfg Part# 9780521690300
SKU 214549834
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0521690307
Release Date 8/1/2010
Product Attributes
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0244
Publisher Cambridge University Press

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