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Article

Exploring Phonological Aspects of Australian Indigenous Sign Languages

1
School of Languages and Linguistics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3010, Australia
2
Slavic Department, University of Cologne, 50923 Cologne, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Elisabeth Mayer, Carmel O’Shannessy and Jane Simpson
Languages 2021, 6(2), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6020081
Received: 31 January 2021 / Revised: 6 March 2021 / Accepted: 15 April 2021 / Published: 30 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Australian Languages Today)
Spoken languages make up only one aspect of the communicative landscape of Indigenous Australia—sign languages are also an important part of their rich and diverse language ecologies. Australian Indigenous sign languages are predominantly used by hearing people as a replacement for speech in certain cultural contexts. Deaf or hard-of-hearing people are also known to make use of these sign languages. In some circumstances, sign may be used alongside speech, and in others it may replace speech altogether. Alternate sign languages such as those found in Australia occupy a particular place in the diversity of the world’s sign languages. However, the focus of research on sign language phonology has almost exclusively been on sign languages used in deaf communities. This paper takes steps towards deepening understandings of signed language phonology by examining the articulatory features of handshape and body locations in the signing practices of three communities in Central and Northern Australia. We demonstrate that, while Australian Indigenous sign languages have some typologically unusual features, they exhibit the same ‘fundamental’ structural characteristics as other sign languages. View Full-Text
Keywords: Australian languages; alternate sign languages; sign language phonology; Warlpiri; Kukatja; Yolngu Australian languages; alternate sign languages; sign language phonology; Warlpiri; Kukatja; Yolngu
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jorgensen, E.; Green, J.; Bauer, A. Exploring Phonological Aspects of Australian Indigenous Sign Languages. Languages 2021, 6, 81. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6020081

AMA Style

Jorgensen E, Green J, Bauer A. Exploring Phonological Aspects of Australian Indigenous Sign Languages. Languages. 2021; 6(2):81. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6020081

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jorgensen, Eleanor, Jennifer Green, and Anastasia Bauer. 2021. "Exploring Phonological Aspects of Australian Indigenous Sign Languages" Languages 6, no. 2: 81. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6020081

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