Sign Language Phonology and Maxakalí home sign
Prof. Andrew Nevins from UCL is a linguist who has worked on a wide range of topics, but primarily focused on phonology and morphology. He is coming to UiO to give a talk on sign language phonology, more specifically related to his field work on the quite recently evolved home sign of the Maxakalí community in Brazil.
The talk is open for all!
In this presentation, we provide a phonological analysis of the distribution of handshapes on the dominant and non-dominant hand in the incipient village sign language found in the Maxakalí community in Brazil. Although this is a very young homesign with no external contact or influence, the analysis reveals that its most frequent handshapes reflect tendencies in choosing from a crosslinguistically unmarked set, and are particularly well-suited to quantitative analyses of handshape complexity found in models such as Ann (2006) and Brentari (2003), in addition to favouring a core set chosen from the most maximally dispersed handshapes.