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Sentence-Final Pointing Signs in Spontaneous Signing in NGT (Sign Language of the Netherlands)

University College Utrecht, guest lecture Language Form & Meaning, November 2012
by

Marloes Oomen

on 25 November 2013

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Transcript of Sentence-Final Pointing Signs in Spontaneous Signing in NGT (Sign Language of the Netherlands)

Sentence-Final Pointing Signs
in Spontaneous Signing
in NGT (Sign Language of the Netherlands)
By Marloes Oomen
Contents

1. Introduction
Sign Language:
Some Misconceptions
Sign Language:
The Basics

2. Sentence-Final Pointing Signs
Literature
Phonetic Framework
Morphosyntactic Framework
Research Questions
Methods:
Corpus NGT
Results & Discussion
Conclusions

3. Time for
discussion &
questions
There is
not one universal sign language
. At least 200 different sign languages are known, and potentially many more are in use around the world.




Sign languages are
full-fledged, natural, languages
with their own grammar and vocabulary.




There is no one-to-one correspondence
between words or sentences in signed language and in spoken language.




Everything that can be expressed in sign language can also be expressed in oral language, and vice versa. Any differences between language of the two modalities are indeed believed to be the result of the
difference

of modality.
1. Introduction
Sign Language:
Some Misconceptions
Sign Language:
The Basics
2. Sentence-Final Pointing Signs
Literature
Phonetic Framework
Morphosyntactic Framework
Research Questions
Methods:
Corpus NGT
Results & Discussion
Conclusions
2. Sentence-Final Pointing Signs
Literature
Phonetic Framework
Morphosyntactic Framework
Research Questions
Methods:
Corpus NGT
Results & Discussion
Conclusions
2. Sentence-Final Pointing Signs
Literature
Phonetic Framework
Morphosyntactic Framework
Research Questions
Methods:
Corpus NGT
Results & Discussion
Conclusions
2. Sentence-Final Pointing Signs
Literature
Phonetic Framework
Morphosyntactic Framework
Research Questions
Methods:
Corpus NGT
Results & Discussion
Conclusions
2. Sentence-Final Pointing Signs
Literature
Phonetic Framework
Morphosyntactic Framework
Research Questions
Methods:
Corpus NGT
Results & Discussion
Conclusions
3. Questions?
Thank you!
Key References
The Sign
Place
Hand shape
Palm orientation
Finger orientation
Motion
Non-Manuals
Oral components
Facial expressions
Body language
Other non-manual
markers
Sentence Structure
Basic word order (?)
Sequential processes
Simultaneous processes
Localization
Bos, H.F. (1995). Pronoun Copy in Sign Language of the
Netherlands. In: Bos, H.F., Schermer, T. (eds): Sign Language Research 1994: Proceedings of the Fourth European Congress on Sign Language Research. Hamburg: Signum, 121-127.
Crasborn, O., Van der Kooij, E., and Ros, J. (2012, in press).
On the weight of phrase-final prosodic words in a signed language. Sign Language and Linguistics, 15(1).
Crasborn, O., Zwitserlood, I., and Ros, J. (2008). Corpus
NGT. An open access digital corpus of movies with annotations of Sign Language of the Netherlands. Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen. URL: http://www.rue.nl/corpusngtuk.
Crasborn, O, and Zwitserlood, I. (2008). The Corpus NGT:
an online corpus for professionals and laymen. In: Onno Crasborn, Eleni Efthimiou, Thomas Hanke, Ernst Thoutenhoofd & Inge Zwitserlood (eds.), Construction and exploitation of sign language corpora. 3rd Wordshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages, 44-49. Marrakech, Morocco: ELRA.
Padden, C.A. (1888[1983]). Interaction of Morphology and
Syntax in American Sign Language: Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics. New York: Garland. (Originally distributed as: PhD dissertation, University of California, San Diego.)
Petronio, K. (1993) A focus position in ASL. Papers from the
third student conference in Linguistics. MIT Working papers.
Sandler, W. (1999). Cliticization and prosodic words in a
sign language. In T. Hall and U. Kleinhenz (eds.), Studies on the phonological word. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Sandler, W., and Lillo-Martin, D. (2002). Sign language and
linguistic universals. Cambridge University Press.
Wilbur, R.B. (1999). Stress in ASL: empirical evidence and
linguistic issues. Language and speech. Purdue University, 42(2-3), 229-250.
Corpus NGT
Radboud University Nijmegen
ELAN
Annotation Program
Research Questions
1. Do sentence-final pointing signs in NGT fulfill a prosodic requirement aimed at maintaining high prominence phrase-finally?

2. Do sentence-final pointing signs that are copies refer to the subject or the topic of a sentence?
Frequent use of pointing signs sentence-finally in
American Sign Language (Petronio, 1991; Wilbur, 1994, 1999)
Japanese Sign Language (Fischer, 1996)
Finnish Sign Language (Jantunen, 2008)
Sign Language of the Netherlands (Bos, 1995; Crasborn et al., in press)
...
Phonetics
Prosodic Weight Requirement (Crasborn et al., in press)
Final pointing sign
Prosodically light element
Acts as a filler
Morphosyntax
Pronoun Copy
Subject (Bos, 1995)
Topic (Crasborn et al., 2009)
1. Introduction
Sign Language:
Some Misconceptions
Sign Language:
The Basics
1. The final foot of the sentence...
90.3%
2. A final pointing sign acts as a filler...
... or a final point leads to reduction of the penultimate sign.
A sentence-final pointing signs is typically (a copy of) the subject of the sentence.
But a topic analysis cannot be ruled out yet.
in
of the cases
The final pointing sign acts to fulfill the Prosodic Weight Requirement...
Other observations

Reduction of the penultimate sign
Retention of features of the penultimate sign
Subject Pronoun Copy

vs.

Topic Pronoun Copy
... needs to fulfill a
Prosodic Weight Requirement
Full transcript