The role of gesture in crossmodal typological studies

  • Taub S
  • Galvan D
  • Piñar P
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Abstract

Comparisons between spoken and sign languages have always been difficult to make, given the linear nature of spoken language grammar versus the spatial, three-dimensional nature of sign language. A better understanding of the role that spatially expressed information plays in shaping the information structure of both spoken and sign languages holds the promise of providing an additional tool to better assess typological differences crosslinguistically and crossmodally. We analyze the use of spatial mapping in the expression of motion events in the narratives of English, Spanish, and ASL, which have been categorized as typologically different in how they express certain kinds of information lexically, syntactically, and in discourse structure. We examine whether the observed differences will remain constant or whether they will disappear once the contribution of spatial mapping to their information structure is considered. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

Author-supplied keywords

  • ASL
  • Crossmodal, crosslinguistic
  • Gesture
  • Spatial mapping
  • Typology

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Authors

  • Sarah Taub

  • Dennis Galvan

  • Pilar Piñar

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