A Grammar Sketch of Yolngu Sign Language

Marie Adone, Elaine Maypilama

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This is the first comprehensive introductory book on Yolŋu Sign Language, the sign language of the Yolŋu people in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia. In this book Marie Carla D. Adone and Elaine L. Maypilama explore some areas of Yolŋu Sign Language Grammar. They show that this language behaves very much like many other sign languages around the world. It has a structure and rules and there are conventions. The authors provide some insights into the sociolinguistic background of this endangered sign language and discuss some aspects of its grammar. YSL is the primary language or first language of a small number of deaf Yolŋu. Hearing Yolŋu use this sign language as an alternate language to their spoken language. On Elcho Island the population as in many other communities is truly bimodal bilingual, that is they acquire both spoken and sign languages simultaneously from birth.

In each chapter we have included pictures of the signs and useful references, thus making this book an ideal resource textbook for YSL users, teachers, educators or anyone interested in indigenous sign languages of Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGermany
PublisherLINCOM academic publishers
Number of pages153
ISBN (Print)9783862885480
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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