A unified account of specificity in Catalan Sign Language (LSC)

Autor/a: BARBERÁ, Gemma
Año: 2012
Editorial: [S. L.]: MIT Working papers in linguistics, 2012
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística, Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


Sign  Languages  are  natural  languages  that  use  the  visual-spatial  modality.   Sign  space  is  the three-dimensional  space  in  front  of  the  signer’s  body,  which  is  not  only  used  for  articulatory reasons but, more importantly, it also carries linguistic meaning (Klima and Bellugi, 1979).  At the phonological level, sign space is used contrastively in the place of articulation parameter of signs.  As for the morphosyntactic level, signs are modulated in space for grammatical purposes to denote person, number and the arguments of the predicate.  At the discourse level, discourse referents (DRs) are associated with certain locations in space. Catalan Sign Language (LSC) makes systematic use of signs directed to the frontal plane, which extends parallel to the signer’s body.

This paper focuses on the grammatical distinction denoted by the two directions signs may take when localising DRs within the frontal plane, namely upper and lower.  I argue that this relevant distinction stands for the overt marking of specificity and, unlike in spoken English or Catalan, indefinite noun phrases (NPs) in LSC are not ambiguous.

En: Norwen, R., A. Chernilovskaia & A. Aguilar-Guevara (eds.). “Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 16” (2012)