Limitations on simultaneity in sign language

Autor/a: NAPOLI, Donna Jo; SUTTON-SPENCE, Rachel
Año: 2010
Editorial: Language, nº 86, vol. 3 (2010) pp. 647-662
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística, Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


Sign languages have two primary articulation tracts: the two hands. They also have secondary articulation tracts that can be partitioned: the nonmanuals. Thus multiple propositions can be conveyed simultaneously. We have attested at most four simultaneously articulated independent propositions in sign languages, and suggest that this limit follows at least partly from limitations on visual short-term memory to cope with the information received. It appears further that the simultaneous propositions must be connected, often sharing arguments or verbs, an account of which concerns matters of production and of cognitive load. A brief look at simultaneity in spoken language suggests that similar if not identical limitations apply.