Grammar, order and position of wh-signs in Quebec Sign Language

Autor/a: BOUCHARD, Denis; DUBUISSON, Colette
Año: 1995
Editorial: Sign Language Studies Vol. 87 (1995) pp. 99-139
Tipo de código: ISSN
Código: 10.1353/sls.1995.000
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


In the quest for language universals, one of the properties that linguists generally take to be universal is that a substantial portion of the lexical items are produced sequentially by speakers; i.e. are ordered in time. There are three aspects to word order: (1) a functional aspect; order conveys information about functional grouping of words and provides some indication of how to interpret sentences; (2) an articulatory aspect; some order is required because more than one sound cannot usually be produced at a time; (3) an order aspect; linguistic theories postulate either that a language has a basic order determined by universal principles, or that there is a single universal order for all languages. On the basis of data from sign languages we argue that this third property is not universal in either of its formulations. There are other means that a language can use to indicate what elements combine functionally and in that case the language has no specific order imposing these combinations. We therefore consider that not all languages have a basic order and that only languages in which word order has an important functional role will exhibit a basic order.