Structure of the handbook

The handbook consists of 45 chapters organised in nine sections, with an editor for each section. Each chapter will be 15-25 pages. Although each chapter deals with a specific topic, many topics have to be addressed in more than one chapter. It will therefore be the task of the volume editors to ensure appropriate cross-referencing between the chapters.
The handbook starts with a brief general introduction (chapter 1). The first four sections of the handbook (sections A – D) are dedicated to the core modules of grammar (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics). The fifth section (section E) deals with issues of language typology. A discussion of the similarities and differences between signing and gesturing will also be included. Psycho- and neurolinguistic aspects of sign languages are discussed in section F. The seventh section (section G) turns to the topic of language change. Section H discusses sociolinguistic aspects such as education, standardisation, sociolinguistic variation, and sign language poetry. Finally, section I addresses questions of sign language documentation and sign language transcription.
Core issues such as intra-modal and inter-modal variation, aspects of modality, and theoretical analyses are considered in every chapter. A short summary of the sections can be found under 'content'.