Phonological properties

Phonological properties primarily refer to the constraints in sign formation. As outlined in the phonology section of GramLSE, signs of the core lexicon are formed by sublexical units: handshape, orientation, movement, location, and non-manual components (Phonology). These units offer a limited set of possibilities.

Spanish Sign Language (LSE) uses a set of handshapes, movements, and contrastive locations found in the core lexicon. Some modifications in sign formation result in allophonic variation without altering the meaning. For instance, the sign for FAVOURITE is articulated with a specific handshape2.png(closed fist with the thumb crossing over the bent fingers). A slight variation in handshape1.png(closed fist with the thumb touching the index finger) does not change its meaning (handshape descriptions taken from Muñoz Baell's inventory, 1999). Both handshapes are non-contrastive.

However, a more significant change to a contrastive handshape forms a minimal or near-minimal pair, like FAVOURITE / MOCKERY. This pair is considered a near-minimal pair because, apart from the handshape, there's a minor movement change. The movement is repeated in MOCKERY.

Villameriel García, S. (2023). Lexicon: Phonological properties. In S. Villameriel García (Ed.), Gramática de la Lengua de Signos Española (GramLSE) / Grammar of Spanish Sign Language (GramLSE). Real Patronato sobre Discapacidad. Retrieved Month DD, YYYY, from https://cnlse.es/es/recursos/gramlse/ingles/index/lexicon/native-lexicon/core-lexicon/properties-core-lexicon/phonological-properties