Carol Padden

Sign Language Linguistics is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and renowned researcher of sign languages Carol Padden, the Sanford I. Berman Chair in Language and Human Communication at UC San Diego. This extensive conversation covers a wide range of topics related to sign language, such as growing up with ASL, Carol’s early work with Bill Stokoe,  the linguistic complexity, structure and properties of ASL and other sign languages, the development of new sign languages throughout the world, the role of gesture and embodiment.

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, Heeding the Signs, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

  1. Choosing languages – Faulty assumptions and different sides
  2. Distance Education – A formative experience
  3. Signing as Language – Bill Stokoe and the development of ASL
  4. Diversity and Structure – The many shades of sign languages
  5. Distinctiveness – Language, identity, and the question of affordances
  6. Embodiment – Making sense of the world around us through our bodies
  7. A Cultural Window – Change, humour and balance
  8. Predictions and Proclivities – Speculations on the future, fillers and gender markers
  9. Examining Diversity – Brain scans, sign-twisters and gesturing Italians
  10. Making Comparison – Efficiency, community and complexity




Available in electronic format on all major booksellers, including: 





Sign Language Linguistics is also part of the five-part Ideas Roadshow CollectionConversations About Language & Culture, which is available in both paperback and electronic format.