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The Linguistics of British Sign Language: An Introduction [Paperback]

Rachel Sutton-Spence , Bencie Woll
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: £35.99
Price: £32.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

18 Mar 1999 052163718X 978-0521637183
This is the first detailed explanation of the way British Sign Language works and is the product of many years' experience of research and teaching sign linguistics to deaf and hearing people. It assumes no previous knowledge of linguistics or sign language, and is not structured around traditional headings such as phonology, morphology and syntax. Instead it is set out in such a way as to help learners and their teachers understand the linguistic principles behind the language. There are sections on BSL grammar and also on the use of BSL, including social acceptability in signing, variation, and poetry and humour in BSL. Technical terms and linguistic jargon are kept to a minimum, and the text contains many examples from English, BSL, and other spoken and sign languages. The book is amply illustrated and contains exercises, as well as a reading list for further study. An accompanying 90-minute DVD is available from Talk With Sign Books. To find out more, visit http://www.talkwithsign.com/linguistics-british-sign-language-p-741.html.

Frequently Bought Together

The Linguistics of British Sign Language: An Introduction + Dictionary of British Sign Language: Compiled by the British Deaf Association + Let's Sign Dictionary: Everyday BSL for Learners [2nd Edition]
Price For All Three: £77.31

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Product details

  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (18 Mar 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052163718X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521637183
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Book Description

This is the first British textbook dealing solely with sign linguistics. It provides essential support for learners of British Sign Language and others interested in the structure and use of BSL and assumes no previous knowledge of linguistics and sign language. Technical terms and jargon are kept to a minimum. An accompanying 90-minute video is available from CACDP, Durham University Science Park, Block 4, Mountjoy Research Centre, Stockton Road, Durham, DH1 3UZ. Tel: 0191 383 1155, or e-mail: durham@cacdp.demon.co.uk

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is the first true book for those interested in the structure and meaning of BSL, covering what is BSL and its place in all aspects of life. The book starts with interesting comparisons between spoken and signed languages and explains fully why both types have developed, what they mean and how they are used. No stone is unturned within the pages with topics such as religion, poetry and political correctness all inter-linked. With the chapters sub-divided to make even the 'heavy' parts seem easy to comprehend and excellent photographs and examples throughout, this book lives up to its claim of 'being the first detailed explanantion of the way British Sign Language works'. Not just another book about signing.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have book for all BSL students 25 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book for me was essential reading for my BSL Stage 2 course. It covers sign orders and structures, negation, classifiers, storytelling, poetry and lots,lots more besides, without being too 'heavy'. The illustrations, of which there are many, only enhance it further still. (even though its true, I have to say that, as my sign language teacher is one of the people modelling the illustrations!!!) I have read this book from cover to cover, and I still continually refer to it. Having recently passed my BSL Stage 2 exam, I am now about to embark on a CSW (communication support worker) course, where I am in no doubt, this book will hold it's own once again. If you are thinking of buying this book, stop thinking, just get out there and buy it, you will be pleased you did!!!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, concise & fascinating 14 Dec 2000
Format:Paperback
This book has been an essential part of my degree course and I wouldn't have survived without it. It is written in clear, simple English, with plenty of photographs and examples. It is a great starting point to learn about the linguistics of BSL. There are also helpful questions at the end of each chapter which can be used as exam revision! Buy it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book 19 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback
This book gives a deep insight into British Sign Language and is great for anybody wanting to further their knowledge of more than just signs. Not for beginners as it would only cause confusion, in my opinion this is better for a signer wanting to improve and further their grasp on the linguistics of the language.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Filled with great info, but dry 10 Sep 2010
Format:Paperback
This book gives a great insight into some of the more difficult aspects of BSL. It clearly explains some very important points, and has a good amount of information in it.

Unfortunately it is bloated with a lot of unnecessary guff. It is filled with comparisons between many languages, which do not lend much help to the author's explanations. The author also spends a lot of time trying to convince the reader of the BSL's worth, something I am in doubt of. It is almost as if she is trying to sell BSL to you as a reader. I would imagine that most people who buy this are already quite interested in sign language, which makes this very frustrating. It also makes the book a bit dull.

It is clear that the author knows her stuff very well. It is also true that this is probably the only text that covers the topic so well. I just found it slightly painful to read.

Great for someone at the end of level 2 onwards.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful 1 Feb 2014
By Blue
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Definitely recommend this for all Interpreting British Sign Language and Deaf Studies students - it served me and my partner well when doing our degrees
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 13 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am currently studying level 6 BSL and this book was recommended by my tutor. It arrived within a couple of days in perfect condition. The book itself is a must for anyone wanting to further their knowledge and understanding of such a complex language.

I do a lot of internet shopping and would definitely purchase from this seller again due to accurate product description, competitive price and speed of delivery.
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