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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Israeli Sign Language - ISL

Sign Language Research Laboratory

Languages occur because people have the need to communicate, but rarely does the opportunity arise to document the development of a young language. Israeli Sign Language (ISL) began in the 1930s and developed as a melting pot of immigrants arrived in Israel over the decades that followed. Because of its particular history, ISL is a creole language -- the only creole sign language that has been described to date.

At the Sign Language Research Lab of The University of Haifa, we are interested in reaching a deeper understanding of the human language capacity through the study of the sign languages that arise in deaf communities. By appealing to well established techniques of linguistic analysis, we are finding ways to tease apart the characteristics that universally underlie all human language from those that are influenced by the modality of transmission. Our core research areas are the phonology, morphology, syntax, and prosody of sign languages.

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