|The American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary|
The second edition of The American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary (1st. CH, Jan’99, 36-2474) is a handy reference. Since it is organized by the various shapes of the hand used to form signs rather than in alphabetical order, as conventional English dictionaries are, readers will find it easy to follow. Tennant and Brown (independent scholars) provide outstanding background information about the history of sign language, a pellucid description of the linguistic properties of signs, and information about sociolinguistic features (e.g., sign variation, change in signs). A total of 40 handshapes are presented with some 2,000 signs with English glosses. The graphics in the book are crisp. An accompanying DVD provides word lists with each sign demonstrated by models representing different ages and ethnicities. A useful word search feature and the 40 handshapes appear along the side of each page, allowing readers to scroll down. Full of information and somewhat busy, the individual DVD pages took this reader a few minutes to navigate. This dictionary will be useful for deaf schoolchildren who want to learn more about their first language, ASL; and for hearing and deaf adults learning ASL as a second language. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through graduate students, general readers, and professionals.
Richard Tennant is a former mathematics teacher who has studied American Sign Language extensively and now resides in Acra, NY.
Marianne Gluszak Brown is an American Sign Language Teacher’s Association (ASLTA) professionally certified interpreter and a child of deaf parents (coda) who works in Palisades, NY.
ISBN 978-1-56368-444-9, 7 x 10 casebound, 462 pages, sign illustrations, index, DVD
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