Personal experience narratives in three West African sign languages: The influence of time-depth, community size and social interaction

Autor/a: MORGADO, Marta
Año: 2024
Editorial: LOT. Universidad de Leiden.
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


This thesis investigates personal experience narratives in three West African sign languages. Two of them are young, emerging languages of different population sizes and one is an older established language. This research describes and compares how signers structure their narratives and use devices to captivate the audience to show how narrative structures and devices develop in sign languages. This is the first research to compare African sign languages with different backgrounds and also to study the narrative structure of micro-community sign languages. This study contributes to our understanding of the linguistic development of narratives by finding that the factor of social interaction appears to play an important role. The present research confirms that the basic ordering of information in a story is present immediately in language emergence as a human universal. Also, starting and finishing a story as a narrator and enacting the character in between seems to be quite straightforward. However, it has been demonstrated here that enhancing devices to turn a narrative compelling need to be learned by watching and telling stories.