This study explores the interlocking strands of productive morphology in British Sign Language (BSL), the language used by the Deaf Community in Britain. It examines how users of the language, 'signers', are able to create 'new* lexical items on a regular everyday basis. While these novel forms are part of the everyday 'currency' of BSL interchange, some will be 'one-off usages, while others will become established within the lexicon' of BSL.
In order to account for this rich morphological productivity, this study will examine some key elements within BSL morphology. Special attention will be given to the 'motivated' relationships which operate between certain sublexical components and their meanings. Special attention will be given to the role of 'metaphor' which is seen as providing a triggering' role in the creation of new lexical items. This account will also focus on the importance of 'classifiers' in productive morphology and will suggest that, for the most part,
these also express metaphorical relationships. In the final chapters, the study will examine the operation of traditional derivational processes such as affixation and compounding. It will be suggested that two processes, sequential compounding and simultaneous compounding
play a key part in developing new forms. Other processes such as word-class derivation (eg, NOUN —> VERB) and 'aspectual' derivation will also be illustrated.
This study aims to demonstrate that BSL has a rich morphology capable of producing 'new" forms in a regular and rule-governed way.
Stockholm: Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University , 1990. , 205 p.