Cardinal numerals in rural sign languages: Approaching cross-modal typology

Ulrike Zeshan, Cesar Ernesto Escobedo Delgado, Hasan Dikyuva, Sibaji Panda, Connie De Vos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This article presents data on cardinal numerals in three sign languages from small-scale communities with hereditary deafness. The unusual features found in these data considerably extend the known range of typological variety across sign languages. Some features, such as non-decimal numeral bases, are unattested in sign languages, but familiar from spoken languages, while others, such as subtractive sub-systems, are rare in sign and speech. We conclude that for a complete typological appraisal of a domain, an approach to cross-modal typology, which includes a typologically diverse range of sign languages in addition to spoken languages, is both instructive and feasible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-396
Number of pages40
JournalLinguistic Typology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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