As the only book of its kind, this book describes the social and historical background of this signed language and places Irish Sign Language in a world context. The Signs of Ireland corpus is used to introduce phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. It also examines the key influences driving signed language linguistics in the past decade, including: recognition of the role of gesture; the influence of cognitive linguistics; the complexities of iconic representation in signing space; the role of simultaneous construction; and the grammar of ISL. All examples listed are drawn from the Signs of Ireland corpus, one of the largest digital corpora of a signed language in Europe, and are included on the accompanying DVD. An essential resource for sign language teachers and interpreters, students of sign linguistics, and learners of ISL in Ireland, this book offers new insights into the role of gesture, spatial models, iconicity, metaphor, and metonymy in ISL grammar, vocabulary and discourse.
Lorraine Leeson is Director of the Centre for Deaf Studies at Trinity College Dublin. John I. Saeed is Associate Professor of Linguistics in the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences, Trinity College Dublin.
1. Introduction; 2. What is a signed language?; 3. The Social Context; 4. Irish Sign Language and other signed languages; 5. Phonetics and Phonology; 6. Morphology; 7. The ISL lexicon; 8. Syntax; 9. Semantics; 10. Discourse; 11. Towards a Cognitive Account of Signed Languages; 12. Conclusion.