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Abstract symbolism  | the ability of a language to express abstract ideas | 1.1.4 TC: 0:32

Accent in sign language | a tendency for deviating while using ASL articulating signs, often due to one’s knowledge of the chereology; a result when some features of a sign may be replaced by those from one’s own sign language | 1.6.6 TC: 0:32

Acoustic store  | the place in the working memory where sensory memories of auditory experiences are kept | 3.8.2 TC: 2:29

Affixation  | a particular type of morpheme that is placed before or after a word to change word meaning | 2.1.3 TC: 0:38

Agreement | a syntactic mechanism involving inflection of a verb, depending on its ability to accept spatial agreement to support concord among noun entities in a sentence | 2.1.4b tutorial

Agreement verb | a verb that marks the subject and object; in ASL, these verbs incorporate a change of hand orientation and/or a movement path representing the demarcation of the subject and object

Anaphora  | the support mechanism for maintaining the correlation among multiple pronouns, each referring to a different noun argument in the syntactic frame | 2.3.1 TC: 2:26

Anticipation error  | occurs when a feature from the following word or sign in an utterance affects production of the features of the word or sign preceding it | 1.6.4 TC: 5:00

Aphasia  | acquired loss of ability to understand or express language | 3.6.2 TC: 2:12

Arbitrariness  | the absence of a natural connection between a word’s meaning and its form | 1.1.4 TC: 2:12

Arbitrary form | describing the case of encoding of a sign whenever the sign form provides no clue on its association with the meaning | 1.6.1a Homework

Articulatory loop  | the rehearsal of articulating speech to help remember the sounds recently heard | 3.8.2 TC: 2:29

ASLphabet | a writing system for ASL; modified and streamlined version of SignFont; used in educational settings with Deaf children | 1.5.8a Tutorial

Asymmetrical hands | sign configuration with one hand stationary while the other hand moves, the handshapes in this case would be more likely to be asymmetrical | 1.5.5a Homework part 3


Bebian, Roch-Ambroise  | a French educator during the early 19th century who created a written notation for sign language (mimographie) | 1.5.1 TC: 5:24

Biological clock  | the natural time course for human development, including language | 3.3.2 TC: 4:14

Black ASL  | a dialect of ASL that developed as a result of racial segregation among schools for the deaf | 1.4.1 TC: 6:23

Broca’s area  | the part of the brain responsible for linguistic expression | 3.6.2 TC: 0:39)


Case | one type of meaning involved in sentence processing, due to the nature of the relationship between the subject and object constituents in a sentence | 2.1.4b tutorial

Casterline, Dorothy | Deaf colleague of William Stokoe and Carl Croneberg; “A dictionary of American sign languages on linguistic principles” | 1.5.3 TC: 0:17Central executive functioning  | the ability to plan and coordinate one’s tasks in order to accomplish a goal | 3.8.2 TC: 1:33

Chereme | basic component of sign language; sign language equivalent of spoken language phoneme

Chereology  | the study of the visual components of sign formation; includes handshape (dez), location (tab), and movement (sig) | 1.5.1 TC: 2:56; 3.2.1 TC: 6:03

Circumlocution  | the use of paraphrase as one way to express a concept; often involves stringing a series of words or signs for explaining an idea | 3.4.6 TC: 3:03

Citation form  | a carefully-articulated variant of a sign used as the ideal form aside from the actual usage | 1.7.2 TC: 3:13

Classical register  | formal signing behavior used in a public setting during the 19th and early 20th centuries | 4.5.4 TC: 2:54

Classifier  | designated morphemes to provide description of size, shape, or other properties of a noun entity; expressed as handshape in a classifier predicate | 1.5.6 TC: 1:18

Clerc, Laurent  | A former pupil of the Paris School who came to America with Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet to establish the American School for the Deaf; first Deaf teacher in America | 1.3.2 TC: 3:51

Cliticization  | the natural process of reducing one sign in a phrasal sequence into a smaller unit although still bound to this word structure | 4.3.6 TC: 1:33

Co-articulation  | coordination of multiple articulatory features and operations across different layers of grammar; essential for efficient sign stream or flow; considered as part of prosody, the study of articulation | 1.8.1 TC: 2:41; 2.2.3 TC: 1:33

Co-speech gesture  | a type of communicative behavior when people use their hands while speaking | 4.5.3 TC: 7:55

Codification  | the process of developing a code representing a language | 4.4.3 TC: 1:46

Cognitive linguistics  | a branch of linguistics which relies on semantics as the foundation for studying the interactions between thought and language | 3.1.4 TC: 2:49

Cogswell, Alice  | inspiration for the founding of the American School for the Deaf; first student of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet | 1.1.1 TC: 0:49

Colloquial register  | conversational signing behavior used in a private setting | 4.5.4 TC: 1:50

Compression  | the process of shortening or reducing a sign form | 1.7.2 TC: 0:51

Concatenation  | the process of arranging lexical or morphemic items in a sequence | 2.1.1 TC: 4:14

Conventions on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) | international treaty which recognizes the rights of people with disabilities | 1.3.3a Resources

Conventionalization  | occurs when a community accepts a new form and uses it continuously as part of the standard lexicon | 1.7.2 TC: 0:35

Coordinate compound  | a type of compound with the meaning built on the combination of two or more independent words | 4.7.4 TC: 1:19

Core lexeme | a sign form serving as the root for a lexical derivative | 2.1.4f tutorial, also see Section 2.6

Core lexicon  | the common set of words or signs that are likely to be selected for inclusion in language textbooks from the perspective of pedagogy | 3.2.1 TC: 3:12

Creole  | developed from a pidgin language when the following generation of children contribute more formal morphology and expand the lexicon | 1.3.4 TC: 6:41

Critical period for language  | one aspect of the biological clock when language development is optimal | 3.3.2 TC: 4:14

Croneberg, Carl | Deaf colleague of William Stokoe and Dorothy Casterline; “A dictionary of American sign languages on linguistic principles” | 1.5.3 TC: 0:17

Cross-linguistic contact  | points of contact between individuals who use different languages, leading to grammatical or lexical | 4.3.2 TC: 8:20

Cross-linguistic typology  | comparing types of languages to understand which elements or rules are shared and which are unique; this helps to understand what aspects of the language come from innate grammar and which come from language-specific environmental factors | 1.7.5 TC: 0:31

Cross-referencing  | making a relation between texts through the process of using a known language to decipher parallel texts in an unknown language or dialect | 1.4.3 TC: 3:46

CSL | Chinese Sign Language; used by signers in the People’s Republic of China | 1.5.8a Tutorial; 1.6.6b Profile

Cued speech | visually representing the precise phonetic forms of spoken language with the use of manual cues accompanying the mouth movements | 1.8.4a


Dark Period in ASL history  | the era where the infrastructure supporting scientific dialogue about sign language structure and learning was neglected | 4.1.5 TC: 0:07

DASL  | Dictionary of American Sign Language

de l’Epée, Abbé Charles Michel  | French educator who established the Parisian Deaf School in 1760 | 1.3.2 TC: 0:09

Deaf isolate  | a deaf individual who is isolated with no contact from other signers | 4.3.2 TC: 6:47

Definite personhood  | identifies specific person(s) and their role in a noun phrase, often by using a proform that incorporates case and number of the noun entity 2.1.4b tutorial

Depiction  | creating a visual imitation of an object or event in midair, when there is no lexical sign available for expressing this concept | 3.3.4 TC: 0:07

Determiner | one type of proform (or pointer) incorporating information on case for the referred noun entity; sometimes involving modification of the handshape in the pointer| 2.1.2a tutorial

Diachronic span  | indicating how long a sign register or dialect has been in use | 4.4.1 TC: 2:01

Diacritics  | a mark on, under, or through a written symbol which affects the way the symbol is produced (ex: adding additional information regarding hand orientation to the dez) | 1.5.3 TC: 4:40

Dichotomy | a contrast between two things or ideas, like for example, contrasting between iconic and arbitrary forms | 1.6.1a Homework

Diglossia  | the sociolinguistic situation where the choice from two languages or registers of a language are dependent on social circumstance | 4.4.3 TC: 0:43

Distinctive features  | The auditory, visuo-manual, or tactile features of a form facilitating comprehension of a word sign | 1.2.1 TC: 7:13

Distributive aspect  | semantic information on number of a particular item in an event which may affect how often a particular morphemic element is articulated | 2.1.3 TC: 1:50

Double DEZ* | two moving hands, usually symmetrical in handshape | 1.5.5a Homework part 2


Elicitation method  | a research approach for collecting data by presenting stimuli that trigger the participant to perform a specific task | 1.6.4 TC: 0:46

Entity classifier  | a classifier uses the entire hand to refer to a noun entity | 3.5.4 TC: 5:39

Epistemology  | the study of the how knowledge is transmitted and shared within a community | 1.9.1 TC: 0:43

Etymology  | the study of the history of word or sign forms, including how or from where the form originated | 1.7.2 TC: 1:23


Fingerspelling  | use of the manual alphabet to spell a word | 1.1.1 TC: 5:58

fMRI  | functional magnetic resonance imaging; a neuroimaging procedure that would create images of the brain’s activation while functioning in response to external stimulation | 3.9.4 TC: 0:09

Folk etymology  | seeking word origins which do not involve scientific criteria based on historical reference for etymological claims | 1.7.2 TC: 8:17

French Method  | Pedagogy which originated in France in the 1760’s involving visual techniques to communicate with Deaf children on various subjects | 1.3.2. TC: 0:50

Frequency and distribution of cheremes | 1.5.5 TC: 2:23

Frozen lexeme  | a sign form that stays the same regardless of context; not receptive to inflection or derivation | 3.4.3 TC: 1:49


Gallaudet, Edward Miner  | Son of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet; first administrator of Gallaudet University (then, National Deaf-Mute College) | 1.3.2 TC: 4:56

Gallaudet, Thomas Hopkins  | cofounded the first school for the Deaf in America with Laurent Clerc, whom he brought from France | 1.1.1 TC: 0:42

Generative approach  | one of the multiple methods used by linguists to study the nature of grammar; this approach conceptualizes language as a system of rules that generate operations that create combinations of morphemes which form grammatical phrases or sentences in a language | 3.1.4 TC: 1:16

Genie  | the pseudonym for a young hearing girl who was severely neglected and deprived of language until age 13; after rescue, her stunted language development was studied for the effects of social deprivation on cognition and language learning | 3.1.1 TC: 2:53; 3.3.2 TC: 4:47

Gloss  | written referent for a signed form | 1.1.1 TC: 6:46; 1.1.3 TC: 0:37

Glossing conventions  | the rules associated with gloss transcription of sign language utterances | 1.1.3 TC: 1:00

Gradual disassociation  | Slow progression of losing original connection among gestural or linguistic components | 1.7.2 TC: 11:05

Grammar  | a formal system including a language’s structural rules for the composition of words, phrases, and sentences | 1.1.2 TC: 0:21

Grammatical productivity  | reorganizing units to produce new sentences or utterances | 1.1.2 TC: 1:01

Grammaticalization  | the process in which content words become grammatical particles or clitics within a language | 1.3.4 TC: 5:48


HamNoSys | Hamburg Sign Language Notation System; phonetic transcription system for signed languages; not intended as a practical writing system |1.5.8a Tutorial

Hand orientation  | The angle of one’s palm while holding or moving the hand | 1.2.1 TC: 6:10

Heinecke, Samuel  | the educator who introduced the German Method; which excludes the use of sign language in education involving deaf children | 4.5.2 TC: 3:10

Heritage language | a minority language learned by children in the home; its use is often not fully developed due to their development of the dominant language of the general community |1.9.2

Heuristic  | strategy used to assist and enhance the cognitive process of solving a problem | 3.3.4 TC: 0:35

Hockett, Charles  | a linguist who published a list of criteria for language design | 3.1.3 TC: 3:04

HSLDB  | Historical Sign Language Database | 1.4.2; 1.4.3a


Inclusivity  | incorporating signer’s membership in the plural noun entity | 2.1.4b tutorial

Inferential skills  | the ability to use context for problem solving (for example, to make an educated guess about a word’s meaning) | 3.3.2 TC: 7:55

Inflection contour  | the movement form carried in the inflection, aside from the sign root on which this movement is superimposed | 2.1.4a homework

Innate grammar  | the theory that humans are born with an innate notion that language should have structure resembling a formal grammar | 3.1.1 TC: 0:31

International sign  | a type of signed pidgin language that involves two or more signers coming together but not sharing a common signed language; used frequently at and stabilized through meetings of the WFD | 3.9.1 TC: 2:19

Intransitive verb  | a verb that does not require a direct object to receive the action | 2.2.4a

Introspectionism  | a movement on psychology that relies on self-reflection on personal experiences | 4.4.5 TC: 1:52

IPA  | International Phonetic Alphabet, used to represent speech sounds | 1.1.1 TC: 9:54

ISN  | Nicaraguan Sign Language; Idioma de Señas de Nicaragua; used by Deaf Nicaraguans who were schooled in the 1970s and 1980s; considered good for linguistic research because it shows the progression that a new language goes through |1.3.3b Glimpses


Keller, Helen  | renowned DeafBlind author and activist; first DeafBlind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1904 | 1.2.2 TC: 3:40

Koine  | a type of pidgin language characterized a more complicated morphology, due to the fact that the two languages are historically related | 3.9.1 TC: 8:24


Lateral space | using one side of the signing space to establish reference for a noun entity | 2.1.3a tutorial

Lexical change  | historical or sociolinguistic phenomena involving the way a sign is articulated, thus affecting its status as a word | 1.4.1 TC: 0:15

Lexical derivative | the grammatical status of a sign form in the lexicon which indicates its historical relatedness with a sign root; this derived lexeme is no longer analyzable as an inflected variant | 2.1.4f tutorial

Lexical phrase  | one kind of word formation involving a sequence of signs to refer to a concept | 4.3.6 TC: 1:25

Lexical variation  | alteration of sign articulation involving additions, deletions, substitutions, or modifications of features | 1.4.1 TC: 0:15

Lexicalization  | the process by which a word or sign enters a language’s lexicon | 2.6.3 TC: 0:18

Lexicon  | the vocabulary of a language | 1.1.4 TC: 1:20

Liddell-Johnson Sequential Model  | a model of sign language notation that was created to analyze the beginnings, ends, and internal representations of signs and their variants | 2.9.4 TC: 2:06

Linguistic encoding  – the cognitive process of parsing language into units; occurs during both production and reception of language (1.6.1 TC: 4:31)

Linguistic imperialism  | language practice where the indigenous people are pressured to use the language of the conquering people | 4.5.3 TC: 1:22

Literacy with sign language | one’s understanding of sign language | 1.8.1 TC 0:08

Literature, sign language | knowledge and use of ASL through literary traditions and pedagogical practices; includes forms such as stories, poetry, folk tales, songs, etc. 

Loan words  | signs borrowed from written English through fingerspelling | 2.7.4 TC: 0:26; 3.4.6 TC: 2:33

LSQ | Quebec Sign Language; Langue des Signes du Quebéc; used mostly in French speaking communities in Canada|1.3.3b Glimpses


Manual Code of English (MCE)  | a form of manual communication which approximates English grammar with English word order and morphemes; includes Seeing Exact English (SEE) | 3.2.3 TC: 2:16

Maturity in history of language  | a measure of stability and transmission across cohort generations, thus reflecting historical status of a language | 4.3.2 TC: 9:45

McGregor, Robert | a classic sign master, the first president of NAD and the only signer presenting in three of the historical NAD films | 2.4.2 TC 0:18

Meta-annotation  | adding additional information to language cataloguing in order to make the data searchable | 4.3.4 TC: 3:24

Meta-cognition | making a perspective (i.e., introspection) on one’s experience while processing information | 1.6.1a Homework

Meta-language  | sharing one’s perspective on use of language | 4.3.5 TC: 8:31

Milan Conference  | an international conference held in Milan, Italy in 1880 which resulted in a ban on sign language use in schools | 1.3.4 TC: 2:58

Mimographie  | a notation system for sign language that emphasizes movement to analyze the different components of signs; invented by Bebian, a French educator | 1.5.1 TC: 5:24

Minimal pair | a pair of signs that differ in only one cheremic feature | 1.6.4a homework

Monogenetic model  | a kind of theory that claims a single person as the inventor for a language | 4.4.3 TC: 2:19

Morphology  – the study of units of meaning and how they are combined | 1.4.3 TC: 0:06

Motoric strip  | the part of the brain responsible for dispatching motoric commands to the muscles | 3.6.1 TC: 5:10

Movement elongation  | lengthening of a movement unit during the process of inflecting a sign | 2.7.3 TC: 7:18

MSL | Mexican Sign Language; Lengua de Señas Mexicana; used mostly in urban areas of Mexico | 1.3.3b Glimpses

Multilingualism | the human experience of knowing and using several languages | 1.6.6c Tutorial

Muscle memory  | a type of rehearsal that supports memory of motoric experiences | 3.8.2 TC: 3:09

MVSL | Martha’s Vineyard Sign Language; extinct signed language; used by both hearing and deaf residents of Martha’s Vineyard island from the early 1700’s until the death of its last Deaf signer in 1952 |1.3.3b Glimpses


NAD  | National Association of the Deaf

Name sign formation  | the process of establishing a sign as a proper name for a person | 3.2.2 TC: 2:02

Narrative elaboration  | the creative part of sign language where signs are modified substantially to add detailed information to narrative conversation, often involving stylistic variation and thus deviating from the natural conversational norm | 3.4.3 TC: 3:00

Nesting  | the layering of inflections | 2.6.4 TC: 7:14

Neurons  | brain cells that communicate with each other through neural networks | 3.6.1 TC: 1:02

Numeral classifier  | a classifier handshape that indicates number by using the digits of the hand | 3.5.4 TC: 6:04


Opacity  | a relation between a word, sign, or morpheme and its meaning which lacks any apparent iconicity | 1.7.1 TC: 2:08

Orthography  | the conventions for arranging symbols in a notation system | 1.5.5 TC: 4:04


Paradigm  | sustained, regular use of a phrase structure for expressing a particular set of concepts | 4.8.2 TC: 0:57

Paradigm formation  | reuse of the same signed string during structured discourse | 4.8.5 TC: 0:26

Parameters  | Components of visuo-manual information conveyed during sign production or encoded during sign perception; Includes location, movement, and hand configuration | 1.2.1 TC: 5:12

Paraphrasing  / paraphrase  | see circumlocution | 3.8.4 TC: 3:34

Perseveration error  | occurs when a feature from a word or sign is retained in the features of the following word or sign in an utterance | 1.6.4 TC: 4:42

Person proform | replacing a pointer for referring to a person, although this can incorporate number or case for the referent noun | 2.1.3a tutorial

Phonemes  | units of sound that may vary but perceived as same at the lexical level within a given language | 1.2.3 TC: 1:14

Phonocentrism  | the belief that anything regarding language should be used auditorily; audism is another term which shares this meaning | 1.3.4 TC: 9:58

Phonology  | the study of a language’s sound system, relying on formal analysis of  selectional and combinatorial rules | 1.1.1 TC: 8:56

Phrasal prosody | deals with co-articulation of sentential and adverbial features and the operations for generating surface forms | 2.2.1 TC 0:40

Plain verb | describing the condition of the verb when not incorporating spatial inflection; some verbs would stick to this condition across various discourse contexts, thus categorized as belonging to this verb class | 2.1.4e tutorial

Pidgin  | a simple communication system that develops between individuals or groups who do not share a common language. Pidgin languages typically lack standard lexicon and morphology | 1.3.4 TC: 6:31

Pidgin Signed English (PSE)  | one kind of contact register built on a natural mixture of signs adopted from ASL along with fingerspelling while relying on English word order for communication among bilingual signers | 3.2.3 TC: 1:23

Polyglot  | a person who knows and uses multiple languages or symbolic systems | 1.1.1 TC: 3:35

Polyglottism  | polyglottism is equivalent to multilingualism, but the term Polyglottism is also used for explaining ability to comprehend individual symbolic forms from various modes but sharing the same concept | 1.1.1 TC: 3:35

Polysemy  | the condition where a morpheme or sign has more than one meaning | 3.5.2b  tutorial 

Polysynthetic  | one type of word formation involving composition of multiple morphemes in a single word or sign | 3.4.4

Ponce de Leon, Pedro  | a Spanish monk in the 1500s who used the manual alphabet to educate deaf children | 4.5.2 TC: 1:14

Prescriptive approach  | a type of pedagogy based on the belief of prescribing rules or norms for language use, including formal lessons on proper grammar, articulation, and lexicon (4.5.5 TC: 2:04)

Proform  | a function word that replaces a content word | 2.1.3 TC: 0:57

Proposition | a statement regarding a concept | 2.1.2a tutorial

Prosody  | the study of the patterns of stress and rhythm used in language production | 1.8.2 TC: 0:37; 2.2.1 TC: 0:30

Pro-Tactile | a formal mode of communication, which includes Tactile American Sign Language (TASL) and haptics (touch); used by the American DeafBlind community | 1.2.5 Resources

Pseudo-sign  | a sign that does not currently exist in a language but is possible or acceptable for a user of that language | 1.6.4 TC: 8:19; 1.6.5

Psycholinguistics  | field which integrates methods used in psychology and linguistics | 1.6.1 TC: 2:52

Psychological reality | seeking evidence for theoretical claims as made by linguists in actual human behavior or information processing; often requiring design and implementation of experiments which psychologists are trained for | 1.6.2 lecture

Punctuation of a sign stream | the manner of articulation required for creating a prosodic contour in the surface outcome; comparable to intonation in spoken language | 2.2.1 TC 2:59


Re-enactment  | a method of documenting a signed form in absence of actual use; may be used in historical linguistics research as a technique for reconstructing an archaic form | 4.3.5 TC: 6:14

Reanalysis  | further analysis on one’s own language pattern, often resulting with a newer combination of features; cycles of reanalysis may occur across generations | 4.1.1 TC: 0:40

Reduction  | occurs when a complex movement is simplified so that a sign is easier to produce | 1.4.1 TC: 0:34

Reduplication  | a morphological process where sign’s movement is repeated to indicate plural for a noun argument or aspect of an event | 2.6.4 TC: 1:18

Register  | the choice from the range of possible ways of building a sentence based on the social circumstance; the preference for a particular dialect or a different language is often associated with social status | 3.6.4 TC: 1.11

Rochester Method  | a pedagogical method first implemented in a school for the Deaf in Rochester, New York where students and teachers are required to fingerspell every word | 3.2.3 TC: 0:49


Scaffolding | a cognitive process required for coordinating multiple tasks in language comprehension and production, involving basic grammatical operations as well as stylistic and prosodic operations thus affecting variation in punctuation of a sign stream | 2.3.3a glimpses

Scope | length and duration of a particular grammatical unit in relation to other units in different layers of grammar | 2.2.1 TC 2:41

Selective reduction  | shortening or simplification of certain features of a signed form, while other features are preserved | 4.8.3 TC: 0:38

Semantics  | the study of the process for conceptualization as well as the use of language to express components of meaning | 2.2.2 TC: 4:12

Semi-signer / Semi-speaker  | when a child does not become entirely fluent in their parents’ native language | 3.8.5 TC: 0:55

Sensory strip  | the part of the brain responsible for registering sensory information from the body |3.6.1 TC: 5:10

Sentence frame | a technique for representing a syntactic structure where constituents are put together to create a sentence; it is common for linguists to use a sentence frame for doing a fill-in-the-blank task | 2.2.2 TC 1:00

Short term memory (STM) | referring to one kind of remembering information which would last a brief time, thus a memory for a short time | 1.6.4 TC 3.48

Si5S | precursor to ASLwrite; writing system for ASL created in 2003| 1.5.8a Tutorial

Sign Master  | a selected individual noted for their sign language proficiency | 1.3.4 TC: 2:14

Sign play | comparable to word play, involving manipulation of sign formation for wit or humor| 1.8.6 TC 0:13

Sign stream | the flow of a signed utterance or discourse | 2.1.4b tutorial | 2.3.3a glimpses

Sign-Supported Speech  | see definition for Simultaneous Communication | 4.5.1 TC: 6:26

Sign-visual music | one kind of sign play involving rhythmic manipulation of sign movement without any reference to sound | 1.8.5a Glimpses

Sign-voice songs | signing along with signers in concerts or church choirs | 1.8.5a Glimpses

SignFont | notation system for ASL; fewer symbols than other systems but it makes use of simultaneous nature of sign components in certain sign formations |1.5.8a Tutorial

SignWriting | Sutton SignWriting; sign notation system developed in 1974; symbols are visually iconic and represent abstract images of the hands, face, and body, as well as location in space |1.5.8a Tutorial

Simultaneity  | the process or expressing multiple lexical or morphemic items at a time | 2.1.1 TC: 0:48

Simultaneous Communication (SimCom)  | a pedagogical method for achieving bi-modal communication which involves co-articulation of signs along with spoken words, thus achieving the ideal of “total communication” while maintaining the speech stream; Sign Supported Speech is the alternate form | 3.2.3 TC: 3:07

Social mobility  | geographic or socioeconomic movement of a community affecting social interaction or status among members | 1.4.1 TC: 8:31

Sociolinguistic variation  | encompasses the various ways individuals and groups produce signs; can be based on geographic area, gender, social class, heritage, and education | 1.4.1 TC: 1:30

Spatial inflection | one type of inflection which involves use of space for expressing additional meaning | 2.1.3a tutorial

Spatial nominal reference  | referring to nouns through space | 2.5.1 TC: 0:46

Spatial referent  | an established point in sign space for a noun entity or argument | 1.2.1 TC: 8:06

Stokoe, William C.  | an American researcher who created a written notation for sign language (Stokoe notation) in the 1960s | 1.5.1 TC: 1:44

Stylistic variation  | modification of sign forms based on an individual’s personal preferences and signing style | 3.4.3 TC: 4:46

Stylistics | intended manipulation of discourse as part of story telling or artistic performance with sign language | 1.8.1 TC 3:33

Subjective introspection  | to use one’s own views to reason and reach conclusions | 1.6.2 TC: 0:54

Sublexical processing – a particular level of cognitive processing required for parsing features in a sign or word (1.6.2)

Subordinate compound  | a type of compound where a phrase of words is dependent on (or subordinate to) the conjunction with a modifying word for expression of a concept | 4.7.4 TC: 1:19

Succinctness  | the process of expressing ideas in a concise manner | 2.1.1 TC: 0:07

Suprasegmental  | stress, intonation, or timing of a featured co-articulation that adds additional information to a spoken or signed utterance | 2.2.1 TC: 2:01

Surface form  | the form actually produced by the speaker or signer (in contrast to underlying form) | 2.7.2 TC: 2:56

Surrogate space  | the use of space to establish referential information the placement of stationary handshapes and the signers’ body | 2.5.1 TC: 5:56

Symbolic unit  | any part of a language that carries meaning and can be combined with other units to form longer morphemic units | 1.1.2 TC: 0:47

Symbolic variety  | making connections to concepts across various modes of communication (i.e., gloss, sign, and written text) | 1.1.1 TC: 4:29

Synchronic information  | indicating linguistic variation at a given time | 4.4.1 TC: 2:06

Syntax  | the system governing how words are combined and arranged into a phrase, clause, or complex structure; also, how autosegmentals and morphemes can be arranged across tiers to inflect sentences | 1.1.4 TC: 1:25; 1.2.3 TC: 0:41; 2.2.1 TC: 0:08


TAB-DEZ-SIG template | an orthographic pattern for combining articulatory symbols to represent a sign formation in accord to Stokoe’s 1960 model of chereology | 1.5.7a Homework

Temporal aspect  | semantic information on time and duration of an event which may affect how often a particular morphemic element is articulated | 2.1.3 TC: 2:04

Transitive verb  | a verb with a direct object | 2.2.4a

Transparency of sign form  | a direct connection between a sign form and its meaning; this term often used interchangeably with iconicity | 1.7.2 TC: 4:22

Typology  | study of language types | 1.7.5 TC: 0:31


Underspecification  | incomplete mental representation of a particular element in a word or sign | 2.8.1 TC: 7:46

Universal grammar  | the theory that all languages share common principles with some options for typological variation | 3.1.4 TC: 0:07; 3.5.2 TC: 0:25


Veditz, George  | Deaf teacher and former president of National Association of the Deaf (NAD) during the 1910s; Deaf orator who presented “Preservation of the Sign Language” on film in 1913 | 1.3.3 TC: 0:20

Verb class | a group of verbs sharing some common properties or constraints when appearing in discourse| 2.1.4e tutorial

Visual analogy heuristic | a problem-solving approach for understanding sign language on basis of making comparison of the similarity of a sign form with its meaning | 1.6.1a Homework

Visuo-spatial scratchpad  | the place in the working memory where sensory memories of visual and spatial experiences are kept | 3.8.2 TC: 2:54


Washoe  | the first chimpanzee who was taught ASL as part of research on non-human capacity for learning language  | 3.1.1 TC: 1:29

Well-formedness | referring to how well a sign is formed, in accord to one’s knowledge of the rules for articulating signs; involving grammatical judgment on whether this form is acceptable |1.6.5 TC 0:45 

Wernicke’s area  | the part of the brain responsible for linguistic comprehension | 3.6.2 TC: 1:06

WFD  | World Federation of the Deaf

Word recall task  | a method used by psycholinguists in which participants are asked to memorize and later recite a word list | 1.6.2 TC: 3:56

Working memory  | a type of short-term memory that makes use of the whole cognitive mechanism for immediate processing of information, including the executive functions, sensory/motoric analyses, and multiple levels of linguistic parsing | 3.8.2 TC: 0:57

Wundt, Wilhelm  | famous psychologist; started the field of psychology through an approach that relied on introspection to explain human behavior and perception | 1.6.2 TC: 1:33