Introduction to emerging sign languages

Levinson, S. C. (2013). Introduction to emerging sign languages. Talk presented at the MPG Minerva-Gentner Symposium on Emergent Languages and Cultural Evolution. Berg en Dal, the Netherlands. 2013-06-20 - 2013-06-23.
de novo languages – only sign languages: village sign languages & home sign How do you build a language from the ground up? Is there a ‘starting base’? If so, what is it? What elements get innovated in what order, and why? How quickly does system get imposed? For real language isolates like village sign systems, what apogee of structure is got in c. 5-7 generations? Strand (1) from gesture to home sign (seeding of sign, iconicity, single generation…)Strand (2) village sign languages (5+ generations, small demography, 2nd L signers…, effects of local gesture systems)Strand (3) urban community sign languages with recent take-off (large demography, connections to other sign languages, systematic exploitation of the manual medium) Strand (4) genes & language: feedback relations
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