IX Simposio Internacional de Comunicación Socal. Actas-I (Ninth International Symposium on Social Communication). pages:339-344
Simposio Internacional de Comunicación Social edition:9 location:Santiago de Cuba, Cuba date:24-28 January 2005
This paper will show how sign language research has changed quite radically since the publication of the first linguistic analysis of a sign language in 1960. It will further discuss two different styles of signing and present an overview of several unique characteristics of sign languages, as exemplified by Flemish Sign Language (VGT), the sign language used by approximately 6 000 signers living in the northern part of Belgium. Today, sign linguists are being confronted with a number of fundamental questions: questions about the nature of gestural-visual languages, what their unique characteristics mean and how they should be dealt with. To conclude this contribution, it is shown that the relevance of these questions -and their answers- extends well beyond the domain of sign linguistics.