As sign language linguistics has become an important and prodigious field of research in the last few decades, it comes as no surprise that the repertoire of methodological approaches to the study of the communication of the Deaf has also expanded considerably. While earlier work on sign languages was often focused on providing arguments for them being full-fledged linguistic systems, current debates do no longer center on whether visual-spatial grammars are worth being researched, but on how this type of research should be conducted. This book contains a selection of papers that could be thought of as a good representative sample of current trends in formal approaches to the study of sign language syntax. It illustrates how generative research on the communication of the Deaf may contribute to our understanding of the syntax of natural languages in general and indicates to what extent it is possible to integrate advances in the analysis of visual-spatial grammar with current spoken language research.
Originally published in Sign Language & Linguistics 16:2 (2013).