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Deaf around the WorldThe Impact of Language$
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Gaurav Mathur and Donna Jo Napoli

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199732548

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732548.001.0001

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Interrogatives in Ban Khor Sign Language

Interrogatives in Ban Khor Sign Language

A Preliminary Description

(p.194) Chapter 6 Interrogatives in Ban Khor Sign Language
Deaf around the World

Angela M. Nonaka

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at question formation in a sign language isolate in Thailand that until recently was undocumented and undescribed. Interrogatives are found in every language, but like other language universals, they vary across languages with respect to several properties. Elucidating these similarities and differences expands our understanding of the extent of linguistic diversity. This study shows that yes-no questions in BKSL have many of the properties seen in yes-no questions in other sign languages. But the WH-question system has some characteristics unique, so far as we know, to this language. There are two WH-morphemes, and, while the range of questions for each is similar (who, what, when, etc.), the sense of the questions and their syntactic properties differ.

Keywords:   sign language linguistics, Ban Khor Sign Language, sign language, Thailand, WH-questions, yes-no questions, sign language syntax

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