4.3.1 Features of Unwritten La
Features of Unwritten Languages
- Unwritten languages tend not to have a " standard" form. BSL has no standard form that everyone recognises as the most common or most respected dialect.
- They have relatively small vocabularies. BSL has quite a small vocabulary but it has all it needs for any use. The dictionary of BSL contains fewer than 2000 signs but BSL also uses many productive signs.
- They can be more flexible grammatically and allow more ambiguity because they occur "face-to-face"
- They use AND and THEN a lot to build up their sentences, and their sentence structure is controlled by cause and effect. BSL sentences are made like this.
- Unwritten languages often repeat ideas, words or phrases. We often see repetition in BSL.
- Classifiers are a feature of unwritten languages (because they allow the repetition) and BSL uses a lot of classifiers
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