Sign Language & Linguistics vol:10 issue:1 pages:25-54
This paper reports on a comparison of word order issues, and more specifically on the order of the verb and its arguments, in two unrelated sign languages: South African Sign Language and Flemish Sign Language. The study comprises the first part of a larger project in which a number of grammatical mechanisms and structures are compared across the two sign languages, using a corpus consisting of similar VGT and SASL-data of a varied nature. The overall goal of the project is to contribute to a further understanding of the issue of the degree of similarity across unrelated sign languages. However, the different studies also mean a further exploration of the grammars of the two languages involved. In this paper the focus is on the analysis of isolated declarative sentences elicited by means of pictures. The results yield some interesting similarities across all sign- ers but also indicate that — especially with regard to constituent order — there are important differences between the two languages.