A phonological diachronic Study on Portuguese Sign Language of the Azores

Mara Moita, Ema Gonçalves, Conceição Medeiros, Ana Mineiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Studies on diachronic variation of sign languages provide data that allow for a better description of sign language structures and features, and a better comprehension of the emerging patterns of new sign languages.
Following the phonological proposals by Liddell and Jonhson (1989) and Sandler (1989, 2008) and considering the literature on phonological variation, the present study analyzes the phonological changes of Portuguese Sign Language signs from Archipelago Azores, where this language was introduced 30 years ago. This exploratory analysis is a comparative study between the attested signs in Silva and Funk (1999) and the signs elicited nowadays.
The results showed that most of the analyzed signs were replaced by new signs or suffered partial changes in their articulation predominantly in hand configuration parameter, especially in certain selected fingers and finger position features, bringing forward the role that hand configuration parameter plays in the stabilization of signs. Upon completion of the analysis, crystallization patterns, such as homogenization of pronouns, also became evident.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-161
Number of pages22
JournalSign Language Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Diachronic Variation
  • Phonology
  • Sign Language
  • Portuguese Sign Language


Dive into the research topics of 'A phonological diachronic Study on Portuguese Sign Language of the Azores'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this