Lexical iconicity in Adamorobe Sign Language (AdaSL) and Ghanaian Sign language (GSL)

Autor/a: EDWARD, Mary
Año: 2020
Editorial: Varsovia: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytety Warszawskiego, 2020
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


The visual modality of sign languages offers a high potential for iconicity, i.e. resemblance re- lationships between form and meaning. Of particular interest is the understanding that iconicity is not monolithic but demonstrated through different devices and strategies that may be influenced by cul- tural factors and specific communicative contexts. This chapter discusses signers and gesturers pref- erence for specific iconic strategies to name handheld tools. Signers of Ghanaian Sign Language (GSL) and Adamorobe Sign Language (AdaSL) were compared with rural gesturers (Adamorobe) and urban gesturers. Working within the cognitive linguistic framework, the chapter discusses signers and gesturers preference for instrument and handling strategies and the consistent use of iconic strat- egies across signers in each group. Signers and gesturers exhibited systematic preference for iconic representation of tools, choosing an action-based sign depicting how the object is held (handling) or depicting features of the object (instrument). Interesting finding of this chapter is the language contact situation in Adamorobe, and its influence on the rural gesturers’ preference for iconic representation although all the gesturers confirmed no prior knowledge of AdaSL.

En: Pawlak, Nina y Wil, Izabela (eds.), West African languages: linguistic theory and communication.