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Numeral Variation in Yucatec Maya Sign Languages
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
2018 (English)In: Sign Language Studies, ISSN 0302-1475, E-ISSN 1533-6263, Vol. 18, no 4, p. 488-516Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, we examine various strategies used to express cardinal numbers in Yucatec Maya Sign Languages (YMSLs) from three historically unrelated communities in Yucatan, Mexico: Chican, Nohkop, and Cepeda Peraza. Our findings describe some numeral strategies, which remained unattested in previous accounts, and demonstrate that YMSL numerals exhibit patterns of systematic inter- and intracommunity variation as a result of linguistic and sociolinguistic factors. These patterns are still in process of becoming solidified and a high level of individual variation persists. The analysis of numerals in YMSLs provides us with an excellent opportunity to observe the emergence of sociolinguistic variation in young village sign languages. Our study is based on data from elicitation, natural conversations, and interviews, and takes into account several aspects: the influence of Yucatec Maya gestures on the formation of YMSL numeral signs, the regional and intracommunity distribution of numeral signs and numeral strategies, the impact of literacy on YMSL number - expression, the existence of familylects and community members' language attitudes. Finally, we discuss some methodological challenges to studying variation in rural sign languages.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 18, no 4, p. 488-516
Keywords [en]
Yucatec Maya Sign Language, Rural sign languages, Language emergence, Numerals, Variation
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Sign Language
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-159822DOI: 10.1353/sls.2018.0014ISI: 000444607200003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-159822DiVA, id: diva2:1246090
Available from: 2018-09-06 Created: 2018-09-06 Last updated: 2018-10-15Bibliographically approved

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