Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Object marking in the signed modality: Verbal and nominal strategies in Swedish Sign Language and other sign languages
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7549-4648
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this dissertation, I investigate various aspects of object marking and how these manifest themselves in the signed modality. The main focus is on Swedish Sign Language (SSL), the national sign language of Sweden, which is the topic of investigation in all five studies. Two of the studies adopt a comparative perspective, including other sign languages as well. The studies comprise a range of data, including corpus data, elicited production, and acceptability judgments, and combine quantitative and qualitative methods in the analyses.

The dissertation begins with an overview of the topics of valency, argument structure, and object marking, primarily from a spoken language perspective. Here, the interactions between semantics and morphosyntax are presented from a typological perspective, introducing differential object marking as a key concept. With regard to signed language, object marking is discussed in terms of both verbal and nominal strategies.

Verbal strategies of object marking among sign languages include directional verbs, object handshape classifiers, and embodied perspective in signing. The first study investigates the use of directionality and object handshapes as object marking strategies in Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language (ABSL), Israeli Sign Language (ISL), and SSL. It is shown that the strategies generally display different alignments in terms of the types of objects targeted, which is uniform across languages, but that directionality is much more marginal in ABSL than in the other two languages. Also, we see that there is a connection between object marking strategies and the animacy of the object, and that the strategies, object animacy, and word order preferences interact. In the second and third studies, SSL is investigated with regard to the transitive–reflexive distinction. Here, we see that there are interactional effects between object handshapes and the perspective taken by the signer. This points to intricate iconic motivations of combining and structuring complex verb sequences, such as giving preference to agent focusing structures (e.g., agent perspective and handling handshapes). Furthermore, the use of space is identified as a crucial strategy for reference tracking, especially when expressing semantically transitive events.

Nominal strategies include object pronouns and derivations of the sign PERSON. The fourth study provides a detailed account of the object pronoun OBJPRO in SSL, which is the first in-depth description of this sign. It is found that the sign is in widespread use in SSL, often corresponds closely to object pronouns of spoken Swedish, and is argued to be grammaticalized from the lexical sign PERSON. In the final study, the possible existence of object pronouns in other sign languages is investigated by using a sample of 24 languages. This analysis reveals that the feature is found mostly in the Nordic countries, suggesting areal contact phenomena. However, the study also shows that there are a number of derivations of PERSON, such as reflexive pronouns, agreement auxiliaries, and case markers. The use of PERSON as a source of grammaticalization for these functions is attributed to both semantic and phonological properties of the sign.

This dissertation is unique in that it is dedicated to the topic of object marking in the signed modality. It brings a variety of perspectives and methods together in order to investigate the domain of object marking, cross-linguistically and cross-modally.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University , 2017. , 218 p.
Keyword [en]
sign language, object marking, differential object marking, argument structure, transitivity, valency, directionality, handshape, pronoun, perspective, Swedish Sign Language, Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language, Israeli Sign Language
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141669ISBN: 978-91-7649-746-3 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7649-747-0 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-141669DiVA: diva2:1088175
Public defence
2017-06-02, hörsal 11, hus F, Universitetsvägen 10 F, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-05-10 Created: 2017-04-11 Last updated: 2017-06-08Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Object marking in the signed modality(2856 kB)254 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 2856 kBChecksum SHA-512
3272f53fd8cdd9bc352d6c0b8ddf680d87ee139c6d43c466ed56f18fb23411b8cd30f9d14be53f60c1b41e030a65f7307764522b48b6c455ef08c14425585af7
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf
Errata_Object marking in the signed modality(33 kB)15 downloads
File information
File name ERRATA01.pdfFile size 33 kBChecksum SHA-512
f4613a9206d9b62e7b0c0318f8a7c7a9142041147c5c819f1b24cebae0fbe05dd806eb7f9b94bcb5277dbce936c16d450d46235e17c9a4ffdeca0113e11f8bb1
Type errataMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Börstell, Carl
By organisation
Department of Linguistics
General Language Studies and Linguistics

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 254 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 1244 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf