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By Irit Meir

This English version of A Language in house: the tale of Israeli signal Language, which got the Bahat Award for many remarkable e-book for a normal viewers in its Hebrew version, is an creation to signal language utilizing Israeli signal Language (ISL) as a version. Authors Irit Meir and Wendy Sandler supply a glimpse right into a variety of attention-grabbing descriptions of the ISL group to which linguists and different researchers would possibly not have entry. An underlying premise of the e-book is that language is a psychological approach with common homes, and that language lives via humans. a transparent and interesting learn, A Language in house addresses appropriate elements of signal language, together with the main summary questions and concerns on the topic of society and group. Divided into 3 components, the publication covers: the linguistic constitution of Israeli signal Language; the language and its neighborhood; and a extensive depiction of ISL and the contribution of signal language learn to linguistic conception. This publication is meant for linguists (with or with no history in signal language), psychologists, sociologists, educators, scholars, and someone with an curiosity within the human potential for language.

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Extra info for A Language in Space: The Story of Israeli Sign Language

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While English does not make that distinction (there is no minimal pair in English for these two sounds), the same technique shows that [o] is distinct from [u] in English, as the minimal pair hope, hoop—[hop], [hup]—demonstrates. The category of vowels in a given language contains a list of distinctive sounds, and [o] and [u] are two such distinct vowels in English. The other major category of sounds, consonants, also contains many distinct sounds in each language. The minimal pair pit, bit shows that [p] and [b] are distinct sounds in English; the pair hen, hem distinguishes [n] and [m]; and so forth for all the other distinctions made by the phoneme inventory of English.

For example, the word unavoidable consists of the verb avoid, to which the suffix -able is added, converting the verb into an adjective, and when the prefix un- is attached, the antonym to that adjective is formed. Each of these word parts, un- and -able, is meaningful. Another device that languages often use is the concatenation of two words to form a new concept, such as blackboard and snowman. The ability to put together words and parts of words to create new words contributes to the richness of languages.

THE MEANINGLESS BUILDING BLOCKS OF WORDS At the intuitive level, it seems obvious that words are made up of sounds, like the [k], [I], and [s] of the word, kiss. But if we consider the nature of these 1 In this chapter and throughout the book, we will often refer use the term ‘word’ interchangeably with the term ‘sign’. 19 ch02_8112_Meir_LEA 5/1/07 6:49 PM Page 20 20 CHAPTER 2 sounds at a deeper level, we discover what is special about the system. First, the number of distinct sounds in the inventory of a language—traditionally called phonemes—is very limited.

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