Detransitivization in Irish Sign Language

Autor/a: SAEED, John; LEESON, Lorraine
Año: 1999
Editorial: Siena: Intersign, 1999
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


This paper explores detransitivising processes that may apply to the verb in Irish Sign language (ISL). These allow the signer to diverge from the prototypical features of a transitive sentence (Hopper and Thompson 1980, Givón 1990): where an Agent/Actor argument is high on a scale of topicality or salience and a Patient/Undergoer argument is correspondingly low on the scale. This scalar positioning is reflected by representing these arguments as subject and object, respectively. We identify three processes which signal the downgrading of an Actor argument and one which allows the promotion of an Undergoer. Since these are elements of voice alternations in many languages, we compare our analyses with proposals by Janzen et al. (forthcoming) to identify a rule of passive in ASL. Finally, we consider the added value that corpus tagging can bring to further analyses of similar data in ISL.

Paper presented at the Third Intersign Workshop, Siena, Italy.