Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-9316
  • E-ISSN: 1569-996X
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Word order flexibility in sign languages has led some scholars to conclude that sign languages do not have any hierarchical structure. This paper shows that the word order patterns within Taiwan Sign Language nominals precisely follow Greenberg’s (1963:87) Universal 20. The manifestation of the universal in this sign language indicates that like oral languages, sign languages have hierarchical structures. Moreover, this paper also discusses the relation between syntactic hierarchy and linearization from the perspective of Taiwan Sign Language. The fact that the word order possibilities stated in Universal 20 are attested in a single language challenges the very notion of language parameter.


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