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Grant number like: FT-52120-04

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Olanike Ola Orie
Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund, The (New Orleans, LA 70118-5698)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2004 – 7/31/2004

Yoruba Sign Language Lexicon

This study examines the lexicon of Yoruba Sign Language (YSL), the language of the deaf in southwestern Nigeria. First, it is shown that signs exhibit arbitrariness and iconicity. Second, iconic devices are presented. Third, word formation strategies are examined. Fourth, instances of borrowing from spoken Yoruba are investigated. This research is significant because: (i) it will provide data on an undocumented African sign language, (ii) it will contribute new information on a sign language with unique properties, (iii) the findings will enrich sign languages comparative wordlists, consequently opening the way for a deeper understanding of the world’s sign languages, and (iv) it will provide the practical basis for the production of a YSL dictionary.