Senior lecturer, Department of Hebrew Language and Department of Communication Disorders, University of Haifa.
Head, Department of Hebrew Language
D. 1999, Sign Language Linguistics, Department of English, Hebrew
University of Jerusalem (Summa Cum Laude).
Linguistics, Department of English, Hebrew University of
Jerusalem (Summa Cum Laude).
structure and verb agreement in Israeli Sign Language”. Advisors:
Dr. Yehuda Falk, Dr. Wendy Sandler.
research interests lie in studying the universal properties
of human language, irrespective of the physical modality;
the interaction between linguistic structure and the physical
modality through which the language is transmitted;
the interaction between linguistic structure and other conceptual
categories, such as spatial relations; the course of development
of languages. In order to tackle these issues, I study two
types of languages – sign languages (Israeli Sign Language
and a sign language that emerged recently in a Bedouin community)
and spoken languages (mainly Modern Hebrew).
research on sign languages focuses on:
development of sign languages – both ISL and the Bedouin
Sign Language (with my colleagues Wendy Sandler, Carol Padden
and Mark Aronoff).
the morphological system of ISL, in particular the interaction
between morphology and thematic structure in the verb agreement
system of ISL.
effects of modality on grammatical structure: (a) the effect
of the spatial nature of sign languages on their linguistic
structures; (b)the interaction between the propensity of
sign languages for iconic expression and their grammatical
research on Modern Hebrew focuses mainly on recent diachronic
developments within the morphological system of the language,
in particular nominal suffixation processes and the coding
of gender in numerals.
Irit and Wendy Sandler (2004): safa bamerxav: eshnav li-
sfat hasimanim hayisraelit (Language
in Space: a Window onto Israeli Sign Language). Haifa,
University of Haifa Press. (in Hebrew).
Meir, Irit and Wendy Sandler (2008): A Language in Space: the Story of Israeli Sign Language. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
|A Language in Space: The Story of Israeli Sign Language is an introduction to sign language for a general audience, using Israeli Sign Language (ISL) as a model. The authors also offer a glimpse into the Deaf community from its inception to the present, including narratives by members of the community about their experience and their language. An underlying premise of the book is that language is a mental system with universal properties, and that language lives through people. This book is intended for linguists (with or without a background in sign language), psychologists, sociologists,educators, students, and anyone with an interest in the human capacity for language.
Irit (1998). Syntactic-Semantic
Interaction in Israeli Sign Language verbs: The Case of Backwards
Verbs. In: Sign
Language and Linguistics, vol. 1, 3-33.
perfect marker in Israeli Sign Language, Sign Language
and Linguistics, Vol. 2;1, 41-60.
Mark, Irit Meir, and Wendy Sandler (2000). ‘Universal and
particular aspects of Sign Language morphology’. In Grohmann,
K. K. & C. Struijke (eds.), University of Maryland
Working Papers in Linguistics, 10. 1-34.
Irit (2001a).‘Verb classifiers as noun incorporation in Israeli
Sign Language’, Yearbook of Morphology 1999,
Irit (2001b).‘Motion and Transfer: The analysis of two verb
classes in Israeli Sign Language.’ In Dively,
V. (ed.), Signed Languages: Discoveries from international
research. Washington D.C.: Gallaudet University Press,
Irit (2002a).A cross-modality perspective on verb agreement Natural
Language and Linguistic Theory, vol. 20.2, 413-450.
and Grammaticalization: The emergence of a case marked pronoun
in ISL. Journal of Linguistics 39.1,
Mark, Irit Meir, Carol Padden and Wendy Sandler. (2003).
‘Classifier complexes and Morphology in Two Sign Languages.’
In Emmorey, K. (ed.), Perspectives on Classifiers
in Sign Languages. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum
Associates pp. 53-84.
Aronoff, Mark, Irit Meir, Carol Padden and Wendy Sandler (2004): 'Morphological universals and the sign language type.' In G. Booj & J. van Marle, eds., Yearbook of morphology 2004, 19-39. Dordrecht/Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Sandler, Irit Meir, Carol Padden and Mark Aronoff (2005):
'The emergence of grammar: Systematic structure in
a new language'. Proceedings of the National Academy of
Science, Feb. 15, 2005, vol.102 no.7, 2661-2665.
Aronoff, Mark, Irit Meir and Wendy Sandler (2005): The paradox of sign language morphology. Language 81.2, 301-344.
Meir, Irit (2005): The Vulnerability of Gender Marking in Modern Hebrew Numerals. Balshanut Ivrit 55, 31-42 (in Hebrew).
Meir, Irit (2005): 'Coordination of non-like categories.' Haivrit Weahyoteha, vol 4, 223-238 (in Hebrew).
Meir, Irit (2006): Morphological Levels and Diachronic Change in Modern Hebrew Plural Formation. Studies in Language, 2006, 30:4, 827-756.
Meir, Irit (2006) Question and negation in Israeli Sign Language. Sign Language and Linguistics, 7.2, 97-124.
Meir, Irit: (2007): The right for a mother tongue. Speech and Hearing 28, 2006-2007. (In Hebrew)
Ziv, Margalit, Lucy Malki and Irit Meir (2007): Theory of mind in children with hearing impairment: parental involvement in an intervention program. Speech and Hearing 28, 2006-2007. (In Hebrew).
Meir, Irit, Carol Padden, Mark Aronoff and Wendy Sandler (2007): Re-thinking Sign Language verb classes: The body as subject. On-line proceedings of TISLR 9 conference, Florianopolis, Brazil.
Meir, Irit (2007): The morphological realization of semantic fields. On-line proceedings of TISLR 9 conference, Florianopolis, Brazil.
Meir, Irit, Padden, Carol, Aronoff, Mark, and Sandler, Wendy (2007). Body as subject (PDF) Journal of Linguistics 43, 531-563.
Padden, Carol, Irit Meir, Wendy Sandler and Mark Aronoff (in press). ' Against all expectations: Encoding subjects and objects in a new language.' In Gerdts Donna, John Moore, and Maria Polinsky (eds.), Hypothesis A/Hypothesis B, MIT Press.
Meir, Irit: (2008): Sentential-Phrase Coordination in Hebrew and the syntax-pragmatics interface.Studies in Language, 32:1, 1-21.
Meir, Irit (2008): The role of prosody in morphological change: the case of Hebrew bound numerals. Language Variation and Change 20, 1-25..
Aronoff, Mark, Irit Meir, Carol Padden and Wendy Sandler (2008): The Roots of Linguistic Organization in a New Language. Special Issue of Interaction Studies 9.1 on Holophrasis, Compositionality And Protolanguage , 133-153
Aronoff, Mark, Irit Meir, Carol Padden and Wendy Sandler (2008). Language is shaped by the body. Open peer commentary to Morten H. Chistiansen and Nick. Chater: Language is shaped by the brain. Behavioral and brain sciences 31, 509-511.
Irit Meir (2009): 'Pluralization of dual-base words in Modern Hebrew'. Hebrew Linguistics 62-63, 57-76 (in Hebrew).
Meir, Irit (2009): 'In the footsteps of 'Eight in the footsteps of one': linguistic choices in self editing.' Haivrit Weahyoteha 8-9, 39-52 (in Hebrew).
Padden, Carol, Meir, Irit, Aronoff, Mark and Sandler, Wendy. (2010). 'The grammar of space in two new sign languages.' In D. Brentari (Ed .), Sign Languages: A Cambridge Survey . New York: Cambridge University Press ,
Meir, Irit, Sandler, Wendy, Padden, Carol, & Aronoff, Mark (2010). Emerging Sign Languages. In M. Marschark and P. Spencer (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies, Language, and Education, Volume 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 267-280.
Meir, Irit (2010). 'The Emergence of Argument Structure in Two New Sign Languages.' In M. Rappaport Hovav, E. Doron and I. Sichel (Eds.): Syntax, Lexical Semantics and Event Structure. Oxford University Press, 101-123.
Padden, Carol, Meir, Irit, Aronoff, Mark and Sandler, Wendy. (2010). 'The grammar of space in two new sign languages.' In D. Brentari (Ed.), Sign Languages: A Cambridge Survey. New York: Cambridge University Press, 573-595.
Meir, Irit, Aronoff, Mark, Sandler, Wendy & Padden, Carol (2010). Sign languages and compounding. In S.Scalise & I.Vogel (Eds.): Compounding. John Benjamins, 301-322.
Meir , Irit (2010): 'Iconicity and metaphor: Constraints on metaphorical use of iconic forms ’, Language 86(4), 865-896
Wendy Sandler, Mark Aronoff, Irit Meir and Carol Padden (accepted): ‘The Gradual Emergence of Phonological Form in a New Language’, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory.
Meir Irit (to appear). Word classes and word formation. In Pfau, R., Steinbach, M. and B. Woll (Eds.): Handbook on Sign Language Linguistics. Mouton De Greuter.
Irit (2002b): Ulrike Zeshan, (2000) Sign Language in Indo-Pakistan:
A description of a Signed Language. In Sign Language
and Linguistics, 3:2, 265-269.
Aronoff, Mark and Meir, Irit: (2005): Meier, Cormier & Quinto-Pozos (2003).Modality and Structure in Signed and Spoken Languages, in Language 81.3, 742-745.
of talks (in Hebrew)
in Israel as a bilingual minority.' 1st meeting
of Israeli Association for the Study of Language and
Society, Haifa 2001.
right for a mother-tongue: access to equality in the education
of Deaf children.' Oranim college, 2001.
Handouts and ppt of talks (in English)
'The Evolution of Verb Classes and Verb Agreement in Sign Languages'. A talk presented at the LSA 83rd Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 2009.