Mark Aronoff, Department of Linguistics, Stony Brook University
Friday, October 28, 2011
as part of the Fall 2011 MENAS Colloquium Series
Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language (ABSL) was created about 75 years ago by the first deaf people born into the village of Al-Sayyid in the Negev desert, four siblings.
Their deafness originated in a nonsyndromic recessive genetic trait that can be traced to the founders of the village and that is now widespread in Al-Sayyid. Today, there are close to 150 deaf members of the Al-Sayyid community, all of whom grew up with ABSL as their first language, and the language is used by many of the 3000 hearing members of the community as well.
For the last decade, a team of linguists has been closely studying all aspects of the structure of ABSL at the level of syntax, prosody, phonology, morphology, and lexicon. This lecture will show how these distinct levels of structure have emerged in ABSL, each in a quite different fashion and at its own rate.
As part of the 5th Annual Arizona Linguistics Circle Conference