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Non-Manual Realization of Agreement in American Sign Language Essay

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Bahan, B. J. (1996). Non-Manual Realization of Agreement in American Sign Language. Boston University Graduate School.

The primary goal of the dissertation lies in exploring the importance of head tilt and eye gaze as one of the ways of non-manual expression in American Sign Language. In particular, the study focuses on syntactic functions of the above-mentioned signs that have been given little attention in the literature.

Credibility and Usability of Results with Regard to Place

The study explores the American Sign Language shifts within the Deaf Community established in the United States. The choice of location is supported by facts and evidence from reported documents. In particular, the study provides literature research and findings proving the existence of a high percentage of deaf people in the United States due to genetic reasons. In addition, some historical findings have been introduced to enhance the validity and reliability of the results. Finally, to comprehend the problem studied, the researcher has also presented succinct information on the phonetic, syntactic, and morphological structure of the American Sign Language.

Sample Description and Analysis

The population of concern is the Deaf Community located in the United States, particularly associations, schools, and networks creating specific clubs for deaf people and maintaining relations across generations. The rationale for considering this particular population is justified because the researcher accurately describes the activities introduced by the Deaf Community that have formulated norms and regulations as the basis of social interaction. Though the sample size has not been precisely identified, it does not make the study unreliable and invalid because the author makes use of a number of resources disclosing the numerical data on the existing non-manuals gestures and their utilization. In particular, the study is based on the researches carried out by Chomsky (1957), Klima and Bellugi (1979), Padden (1983), and many other scholars that have contributed to a better understanding of the significance of the research.

The Main Strengths of Results and Generalizability

The problem analysis presented in the dissertation can be successfully applied to a broader context due to the great generalizability of the topic. This is explained by the fact that sign languages exist in various communities where both manual and non-manual expressions are slightly differentiated. What is more, the topic can also be discussed at the international level to consider the importance of sign language in a broader context.

The Analysis of Data Collection Procedure

The main stages of the data analysis procedure do not provide a clear and conventional structure of information gathering. Though participants and sites are clearly identified, a major focus is mostly made on the analysis of sign language structure and peculiarities. In addition, there is no rigid connection between the participants and the patterns established within the linguistic elements under consideration. Hence, instead of focusing on a particular sample population, the author makes the shift to the evaluation of abstract notions, such as object and subject agreement, phi-features, and non-manual realizations of the syntactic functions.

During the process of data collection, the author applies such methods as literature reviews, case studies, and structural observations for better control of sampling. The qualitative analysis is also premised on testing hypotheses through different treatments of a certain phenomenon (head tilt and eye gaze). It is also worth saying that closer attention to larger samples of the population still contributes to better outcomes and accuracy of the research.

Relevance of Data Collection to the Research Question and Problem Statement

With regard to the methods chosen for data collection and analysis, the research question, problem statement, and research findings are reflective of and consistent with data. The process of data transformation into codes and themes has been adequately described. In particular, the author provides a manifold perspective for studying various aspects of non-manual marking of grammatical and syntactical expression of head tilt and eye gaze. However, such aspects as object and subject agreement, an overview of Determiner Projections, and Inflection Projections have been efficiently disclosed, though having little correlation with the problem statement. More importantly, little attention has been paid to the population of concern due to the absence of empirical observations.

Methodology Evaluation

While disclosing the research question and problem statement, the research makes use of historical analysis of the issue to provide readers with a better comprehension of the origin, character, and nature of the problem. Despite the absence of face-to-face interviews and participant observations, which would have been a significant contribution to the given research, the review of documents has also provided a clear image of the problem and a comprehensive understanding of its usability and application.

The Scope of the Study

The main scope of the study lies in justifying the research hypothesis and presenting historical evidence for the necessity to disclose the issue under consideration. The main variables included in the study are head tilt and eye gaze being examples of non-manual expression. They have been studied within the context of different projects. As patterns change, the concerned characteristics disclose various meanings.

The Extent to Which Variables Were Included in the Study

The research findings have revealed a close correlation between the established variables as well as their elements. Hence, the logical chain of dependent and independent characteristics has been clearly identified and explained in the study. In particular, the author provides a detailed analysis of dependent variable first with regard the main objects at issues. Further on, the author logically presents his findings disclosing the influence of attributes to those objects.

Rationale Assessment of the Variables Inclusion/Exclusion

The presentation of dependent variables has been extremely relevant to the analysis of the independent variables disclosing the research questions in a comprehensive and coherent way. In particular, theoretical concepts and frameworks have been successfully identified within the established context, making the relationship between the variables clear and adequate. Using documented resources, the research provides effective strategies ensuring the trustworthiness and reliability of the findings. In this regard, the inclusion of the chosen variables has been relevant to the suggested theories and researches.

Usefulness and Application of the Study

The study under analysis is of a great important for further research in the sphere of sign language applications. The findings presented in the research can trigger further studies examining the effectiveness of particular gestures (both manual and non-manuals) in expressing particular modalities. Though the research lacks empirical observations and evidence, it can still be applied to both qualitative and quantitative research, using a particular sample population. More importantly, the presence of documented reviews provides a clear picture of the main strengths and weakness of the implementation of the American Sign Language and as well as its usability within the Deaf Community in the United States and other countries.

Reference List

Bahan, B. J. (1996). Non-Manual Realization of Agreement in American Sign Language. Boston University Graduate School.

Chomsky, N. (1957). Syntactic Structures. The Hague: Mouton.

Klima, E. & Bellugi, U. (1979). The Signs of Language. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Padden, C. A. (1983). Interaction of Morphology and Syntax in American Sign Language. Doctoral Dissertation, University of California, San Diego.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Non-Manual Realization of Agreement in American Sign Language." January 8, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/non-manual-realization-of-agreement-in-american-sign-language/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Non-Manual Realization of Agreement in American Sign Language'. 8 January.

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