Perspectives on Classifier Constructions in Sign Language

By Karen Emmorey | Go to book overview
6
The form of the morpheme would vary according to the individual classifier. A vehicle classifier is "upright" if the ulnar side of the hand is oriented downward.
7
My thanks go to Melissa Draganac and Kristin Mulrooney, who have been gathering data from four ASL consultants. I would also like to thank MJ Bienvenu for insightful discussions about classifier predicates and for providing additional examples.
8
I am purposely avoiding the use of terms like ungrammatical for reasons that become apparent later.
9
Even among supporters of an agreement analysis of verbs such as GIVE, the spatial locus assigned to a physically present referent is agreed to be in the direction of that referent. Because a referent can be located in innumerable directions with respect to the signer, there is no limit on the number of such locations.
10
I argue for the analogical treatment of location and some aspects of orientation with respect to indicating verbs in Liddell (1995).
11
This type of sound symbolism is called phonesthesia.
12
Baker and Cokely (1980) describe classifiers as handshapes. However, they often cite specific instances of classifiers as combinations of handshape and orientation features.
13
The downward movement followed by a hold is what Supalla (1978, 1982) identified as a "contact root."
14
The informants consulted for this research do not use the 4- or 5-handshapes with this bouncing movement.
15
Chapters 5 through 10 in Liddell (in press) provide extensive discussion of the roles of mental spaces and mental space blending in meaning construction in ASL. Chapter 9 includes an expanded discussion of the verbs being described here.
16
The conceptual process called mental space blending is described in Fauconnier and Turner (1994, 1996), Turner and Fauconnier (1996), and Fauconnier (1997). Liddell (in press) provides an extensive treatment of mental space blending in ASL discourse.

REFERENCES

Baker, C., & Cokely, D. (1980). American Sign Language: A teacher's resource text on grammar and culture. Silver Spring, MD: T.J. Publishers.

Boyes-Braem, P. (1981). Features of the handshape in American Sign Language. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.

DeMatteo, A. (1977). Visual imagery and visual analogues in American Sign Language. In L. Friedman (Ed.), On the other hand: New perspectives on American Sign Language (pp. 109–136). New York: Academic Press.

Fauconnier, G. (1997). Mappings in thought and language. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Fauconnier, G., & Turner, M. (1994). Conceptual projection and middle spaces. UCSD Cognitive Science Technical Report.

Fauconnier, G., & Turner, M. (1996). Blending as a central process of grammar. In A. Goldberg (Ed.), Conceptual structure, discourse and language (pp. 113–130). Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications, Fischer, S., & Gough, B. (1978). Verbs in American Sign Language. Sign Language Studies 18, 17–48.

Friedman, L. (1975). Space, time, and person reference in American Sign Langauge. Language 51, 940–961.

Friedman, L. (1976). The manifestation of subject, object, and topic in the American Sign Language. In C. Li (Ed.), Subject and topic (pp. 125–148). New York: Academic Press.

Friedman, L. (1988). Formational properties of American Sign Language. In L. Friedman (Ed.), On the other hand: New perspectives on American Sign Language (pp. 13–56). New York: Academic Press.

Frishberg, N. (1975). Arbitrariness and iconicity: Historical change in American Sign Language. Language 51, 676–710.

Klima, E. S., & Bellugi, U. (1979). With Battison, R., Boyes Braem, P, Fischer, S., Frishberg, N, Lane, H, Lentz, E. M., Newkirk, D., Newport, E., Pedersen, C. C., & Siple, P. The signs of language. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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