Uyechi presents an extremely thorough and formal empirical description of the various features of ASL signs, of interest to any theoretician in developing a theory of sign phonology or in testing claims in the theory of the phonology of spoken languages against data from a signed language. The author also presents a formalism for representing signs and makes a number of theoretical proposals based on this formalism. The volume's analysis indicates that the properties of core constructs of the spoken-language phonology, namely the segment and the syllable, differ from the properties of the core constructs in a formal framework of visual phonology. The Geometry of Visual Phonology also differs from other analyses in concluding that such differences are not immediately reconcilable. This volume provides a framework for discussing crucial differences between signs and speech.
Part I. The Geometry of Visual Phonology: 1. Sign and speech; 2. Visual phonology; 3. A guide to the thesis; Part II. Hand Prism: 1. 'Traditional' sign parameters; 2. Hands that move; 3. Handshape; 4. Hand orientation; Part III. Signing Space: 1. Local signing space; 2. Global signing space; 3. Discourse signing space; 4. The hand in the signing space; 5. Signing spaces, locations, and orientations; Part IV. The Transition Unit: 1. Change in location; 2. Change in handshape; 3. Change in orientation; 4. Moving on; Part V. The Cell: 1. Simple signs; 2. Agreement verbs; 3. Transition unit and cell; Part VI. Segment and Syllable: 1. Consonants, vowels, and syllables; 2. Segments and features; 3. Feature geometry and segments; Part VII. A Different Mode: 1. The geometry of visual phonology; 2. The phonology of visual geometry; 3. Segment, syllable, unit transition, and cell; 4. Universal phonology.
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