The role of agreement and auxiliaries in sign language

Autor/a: FISCHER, Susan
Año: 1996
Editorial: Lingua, Vol. 98, nº 1-3 (1996) pp. 103-120
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


A number of scholars in a variety of sign languages (Smith, 1990: Taiwan Sign Language; Bos, 1994: Sign Language of the Netherlands; Engberg-Pedersen, 1993: Danish Sign Language) have recently found auxiliary or auxiliary-like structures which serve to carry agreement, usually when the main verb does not. I have found a similar phenomenon in Japanese Sign Language (JSL). Other papers in this issue address the linguistic status of agreement and the auxiliaries to which it attaches. I would like to approach the problem from a somewhat orthogonal perspective. Although I have suggested elsewhere that verb agreement is derived historically from clitic pronouns, I assume the conclusion of the other papers that agreement is indeed an inflection and not a clitic pronoun. I turn the question around and address the issue of whether some indexical pronouns in JSL are in fact manifestations of agreement as argued by Torigoe (1994) (I argue in the negative), suggest the beginnings of a theoretically coherent account of the auxiliaries in JSL, and discuss questions of universality in both language and gesture.