Linguistics Department

Talk - Simon Harrison (RWTH Aachen University) "Communicative bodily action in non-native signing: A preliminary description of some actions and how they seem to function in the sign-stream"

Mon, June 4, 2012 | BEN 1.122

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

How do sign language learners use communicative bodily action when they are trying to create utterances in a sign language? I will present some preliminary answers to this question from an ongoing study of hearing people in a French Sign Language classroom. In the videos I’m studying, students sit opposite a camera and try to string signs together into utterances. Their Deaf instructor next to the camera uses picture stimuli to elicit the utterances and offers feedback and support whenever solicited. In this context we see a combination of communicative bodily actions. Some actions exhibit the form characteristics of lexical and grammatical elements of the sign language being learned, while others correspond to communicative bodily actions that the students would use with their everyday oral conversations in French. I will present my preliminary analysis of these actions and explain how I think they relate.

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