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Variations in tactile signing - the case of one-handed signing
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0612-6304
2011 (English)In: ESUKA – JEFUL, no 2-1, 273-282 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Tactile sign language is a variety of a national sign language.Tactile signing among persons with deafblindness also includessome minor variations. Early analyses of tactile Swedish Sign Language(e.g. Mesch 1998, 2001) show how interactants use both theirhands in tactile communication in two different positions: dialogueposition and monologue position. This paper examines the signingvariations that partially or functionally blind signers encounter whenusing one hand to communicate with each other in a conversationdyad in what is one of the most advanced types of sign languagecommunication. In tactile one-handed signing, the signer uses herright hand both for producing and receiving signs, while the addresseeuses her left hand not only for receiving but also for producing signsafter turn-taking, even though it is the non-dominant hand and, therefore,is not normally used to produce one-handed signs. In this study,conversation analysis was conducted on the discourse of four groups.The results show that some variations depend on the linguistic backgroundof individuals and their everyday communication. A comparativestudy of a two-handed and a one-handed system is thenpresented, focusing on issues of simplicity, flexibility, turn-taking, andfeedback. Some results showing changes in the sign structures ofboth communication types are also presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tartu: Eesti ja soome-ugri keeleteaduse ajakiri (ESUKA) , 2011. no 2-1, 273-282 p.
Keyword [en]
tactile sign language, deafblindness, tactile communication
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Sign Language
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-39296OAI: diva2:319340
Available from: 2010-05-17 Created: 2010-05-17 Last updated: 2014-05-26Bibliographically approved

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Mesch, Johanna
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