Undergraduate Course: Sign Language Linguistics (LASC10093)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course introduces students to the theoretical study of signed languages with a focus on British Sign Language (BSL).
Building on students' existing knowledge of the syntactic, morphological and phonological structure of spoken languages, this course will familiarise students with the principal areas of enquiry in sign language linguistics and provide them with the descriptive and analytical tools necessary to engage with theoretical and experimental research on sign systems. Although the main focus of this course is the structural properties of signed languages, students will also gain a basic familiarity with secondary topics such as the history of sign languages, variation in sign language, the acquisition of sign languages and cross-linguistic comparison of sign languages.
The main text for the course is The linguistics of British Sign Language by Sutton-Spence & Woll (see bibliography below).
N.B. This is not a practical introduction to BSL. Students need have no prior knowledge of BSL or other sign language to take this course. However, students may find it advantageous to devote some time to learning some basic BSL independently, for example by attending an introductory BSL course or using online materials.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students must have taken courses equivalent to LEL2A, LEL2B and LEL2D, including training in experimental methodologies and statistics
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||- Group presentation: 15-20 minutes (30%)
- Course project report: max. 1,000 words (30%)
- Final Essay: max. 2,000 words (40%)
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- discuss issues involved in the description of signed languages
- analyse key linguistic phenomena in BSL
- summarise and critically evaluate published research on signed languages
- carry out experimental work on iconicity
- demonstrate understanding of core research agenda in sign language linguistics
|Boyes-Braem, P. & C. Rathmann. (2010). Transmission of sign languages in Northern Europe. In D. Brentari (ed.) Sign languages. Cambridge: C.U.P.|
Deucher, M. (1984). British Sign Language. London: Routledge.
Mann, W., C. R. Marshall, K. Mason, G. Morgan. (2010). The acquisition of sign language: the impact of phonetic complexity on phonology. Language Learning and Development 6(1): 60¿86.
Marshall, C. R. (2011). Sign Language Phonology. In N. C. Kula, B. Botma & K. Nasukawa (eds) The continuum companion to phonology. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.
Schembri, A., K. Cormier, T. Johnston, D. McKee, R. McKee, B. Woll. (2010). Sociolinguistic variation in British, Australian and New Zealand Sign Languages. In D. Brentari (ed.) Sign languages. Cambridge: C.U.P.
Sutton-Spence, R. & B. Woll. (1999). The linguistics of British Sign Language. Cambridge: C.U.P.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Michael Ramsammy
Tel: (0131 6)50 3959
|Course secretary||Miss Emma Nelson
Tel: (0131 6)50 9870