The gradual emergence of phonological form in a new language

Bibliographic Collection: 
MOCA Reference, APE
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Sandler, W.; Aronoff, M.; Meir, I.; Padden, C.
Year of Publication: 2011
Journal: Natural language & linguistic theory
Volume: 29
Issue: 2
Pagination: 503 - 543
Date Published: 05/2011
Publication Language: eng
ISBN Number: 0167-806X1573-0859

The division of linguistic structure into a meaningless (phonological) level and a meaningful level of morphemes and words is considered a basic design feature of human language. Although established sign languages, like spoken languages, have been shown to be characterized by this bifurcation, no information has been available about the way in which such structure arises. We report here on a newly emerging sign language, Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language, which functions as a full language but in which a phonological level of structure has not yet emerged. Early indications of formal regularities provide clues to the way in which phonological structure may develop over time.

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Short Title: Nat Lang Linguist Theory
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