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The categorical role of structurally iconic signs

  • Brent Strickland (a1), Valentina Aristodemo (a1), Jeremy Kuhn (a1) and Carlo Geraci (a1)

Goldin-Meadow & Brentari (G-M&B) argue that, for sign language users, gesture – in contrast to linguistic sign – is iconic, highly variable, and similar to spoken language co-speech gesture. We discuss two examples (telicity and absolute gradable adjectives) that challenge the use of these criteria for distinguishing sign from gesture.

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Aristodemo, V. & Geraci, C. (2015) Comparative constructions and visible degrees in LIS. Talk given at FEAST 2015, Barcelona.
Strickland, B., Geraci, C., Chemla, E., Schlenker, P., Kelepir, M. & Pfau, R. (2015) Event representations constrain the structure of language: Sign language as a window into universally accessible linguistic biases. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112(19):5968–73.
Wilbur, R. B. (2003) Representation of telicity in ASL. Chicago Linguistic Society 39:354–68.
Wilbur, R. B. (2008) Complex predicates involving events, time and aspect: Is this why sign languages look so similar? In: Signs of the time: Selected papers from TISLR 2004, ed. Quer, J., pp. 219–50. Signum.
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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