Linguistics, the scientific study of language, boils down to two questions: how are all languages alike, and how are they different? 

So, what is sign language linguistics all about?  

It’s a cutting-edge discipline that explores the features shared by all languages and delves deep into the distinctive aspects of sign languages. Here’s a sneak peek into how sign language linguists tackle the two crucial questions of linguistics: 

Bridging the Gap between Sign and Speech  

All languages have words and sentences, nouns and verbs, and similar strategies for organizing their thoughts. Sign languages are no exception. The study of sign language linguistics seeks to unravel the common threads that make sign languages bona fide languages. Universal features of languages are one of the best windows into human thought! 

Discovering the Magic of Nonverbal Expression 

Sign languages have their own unique traits that set them apart from spoken languages. Unlike spoken languages, which convey words one at a time, sign languages utilize three-dimensional space and simultaneous gestures to express complex ideas. Sign language linguists investigate differences like these, exploring how each sign language differs from, and interacts with, its nearby spoken language(s). 

Unveiling the Diversity among Sign Languages 

Sign languages aren’t just mirror images of one another; each one is beautifully unique. Some differences are obvious, such as unique signs for “bird” and “tree.” But sign languages vary in more than just which signs they use, just like saying “arbol” instead of “tree” isn’t the only difference between Spanish and English. Linguists study how each sign language uniquely expresses ownership, time frame, story elements, and more. Plus, they delve into the intricate relationship between linguistic expression and Deaf culture. 

Ready to unlock the secrets of sign languages? Apply now and join us in exploring the exciting world of Sign Language Linguistics.