When does a system become phonological?

Autor/a: BRENTARI, Diane; COPPOLA, Marie; MAZZONI, Laura; GOLDIN-MEADOW, Susan
Año: 2012
Editorial: Natural Language & Linguistic Theory. Vol. 30, Nº 1 (2012) pp. 1-31
Tipo de código: ISBN
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


Sign languages display remarkable crosslinguistic consistencies in the use of handshapes. In particular, handshapes used in classifier predicates display a consistent pattern in finger complexity: classifier handshapes representing objects display more finger complexity than those representing how objects are handled. Here we explore the conditions under which this morphophonological phenomenon arises. In Study 1, we ask whether hearing individuals in Italy and the United States, asked to communicate using only their hands, show the same pattern of finger complexity found in the classifier handshapes of two sign languages: Italian Sign Language (LIS) and American Sign Language (ASL). We find that they do not: gesturers display more finger complexity in handling handshapes than in object handshapes.