Question-answer pairs: the help of LSF

Autor/a: HAUSER, Charlotte
Año: 2018
Editorial: FEAST, Formal and Experimental Advances in Sign language Theory, Vol. 2 (2018) pp. 44-55
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


A growing literature has emerged on sign languages describing a particular construction which looks like a question followed by its fragment answer, but which crucially is not interpreted as such. In sign language litterature, it has successively been referred to as pseudoclefts (Wilbur 1996, Branchini 2014), rhetorical questions (Hoza et al. 1997), question-answer constituents (Davidson, Caponigro, and Mayberry 2008), or, more recently, Question Answer Pairs (QAP) in Kimmelman and Vink (2017). This last work proposes the existence of a grammaticalization process starting with information seeking questions and ending with question-answer constituent, creating a bridge between two of the main analyses proposed. In our article, we extend the bridge to Wilbur’s analysis and beyond. We demonstrate, based on an extensive depiction of French Sign Language’s (LSF) QAP properties, that the grammaticalization scale proposed in Kimmelman and Vink (2017) has to be further developed to integrate pseudoclefts as its ending point. Through morpho-phonetic, syntactic and semantic evidences, we will show that LSF instantiates a construction which is syntactically closer to pseudoclefts than American Sign Language and Sign Language of the Netherlands but not yet at the point of Italian Sign Language (Branchini 2014), advocating in favor of an intermediate analysis.