Reiterative Code-Switching: Argument-Marking in Cena

Autor/a: STOIANOV, Diane; ALMEIDA SILVA, Anderson; NEVINS, Andrew
Año: 2023
Editorial: Sign Language Studies, 23(3), 386-423
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


Situations of language contact are often the norm for sign languages. This article investigates a case of unimodal contact between Cena, a young sign language in its third generation that is used in a small rural community in Brazil, and Libras, the national sign language of Brazil. Our analysis concerns one by-product of this contact: reiterative code-switches, wherein signers produce a sequence of two signs—one from each language—with the same meaning to label a single referent. We consider several motivations detailed in existing literature on code-switching, before proposing an explanation motivated by the disambiguation of reversible (therefore potentially ambiguous) verb events, primarily by using reiteration to focus agents. We suggest that with this phenomenon, we see signers employ a previously unattested strategy to mark arguments and thereby aid syntactic disambiguation.