Hand Talk: Sign Language among American Indian Nations by Jeffrey E. DavisHand Talk: Sign Language among American Indian Nations by Jeffrey E. Davis

Hand Talk: Sign Language among American Indian Nations

byJeffrey E. Davis

Paperback | September 6, 2010

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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. 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.
Title:Hand Talk: Sign Language among American Indian NationsFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:274 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.55 inShipping dimensions:8.98 × 5.98 × 0.55 inPublished:September 6, 2010Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521690307

ISBN - 13:9780521690300


Table of Contents

1. The language landscape; 2. Earliest historical linguistic accounts; 3. A national treasure; 4. Early sign language studies; 5. The spectrum of discourse; 6. The convergence of anthropology and linguistics; 7. Comparative studies of historical relatedness; 8. Linguistic analysis of PISL; 9. Conclusions.

Editorial Reviews

'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 professionals, 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