Do signers gesture?

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rule' in \\"hich /1/ and /cl/ arc pronounced as a flap \\'hen 1he>· occur hc1wccn a. Stressed and an ...... 1mu!.1d Jtp wtp .111'

Emmorey, K. (1999). Do signers gesture? In L. Messing and R. Campbell (Eds), Gesture, speech, and sign, 133-159, Oxford University Press: New York.

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Do signers gesture? Karen Emmorcy L11l>1H 1111•1.1 /111 C1•.i.:11it i1 c :':n111>.,1 irnc c. I lie S11lli /11;1 i11111· fo1 Hi1 >/ogi< al S11ulic'

Int rocluct ion Before a nS\\Tri ng l he l i l le ques t ion ' Do s ig ners ges1 urr ~· \\T lllUSt Ii rs t ·· For cxa111 plc . 1he ·1· ha nd::.ha pe in ASL ( 1hc thumb i:, in::.ert ed be t\\Cen 1he index and m iddle li nge rs of a fi:-.1 ) is 1101 found in Dan ish Sign La nguage. S\\"ed ish Sign La nguagc con 1ai ns a hancbhape no 1 fnu ncl in ASL: all fi nge rs arc ex1 endcd exce pt for the ring li nger \\·hich is hc111. Like \\·orcls. the articu lation of signs is go\'crlled by a syslelll of rule~ and i"orm cons1 rain1s. An example of a pho nologica l rule in :\ mcriran English is 1hc ·(l ap ru le' in \\" hich / 1/ and /cl/ arc pro nounced as a flap \\' he n 1he>· occur hc1wccn a Stressed and a n unstressed \'O\\'C I (the to ngue quickly h its the ridge of the mou th beh ind the teeth ) Th us. a fl ap (ra1 her 1ha n It/) occurs in \\"Orcls li ke '\\" ritcr" and ·later· (compare \\"il h w ri1e· and ·1a1c') . T he follo\\" ing is jusl o ne exam ple of a pho nological co ns1rai n1 in :\SL: ·secondary 1110 \·c mcn t' ( c .g .. Ii ngc r w iggling . ci rel i ng. bcncl i ng. hooking) ca n nn ly occur at a part icular lime during 1hc articu lation o f a sign . Pcrl m u11cr ( 19l)3) cl isco\·crcd 1hat scconclar>· 111m ·c111c n 1 is pcnn i11cd on Iy cl u ring 1he pal h nHn-c111c n t of a sign or \\" hen a sign is held in space (\\"ith no preceding or fo llo\\'ing pa 1h mon:mcn l) . Figure 8 .2a shows 1hc correct form o f CO-lJ P-IN-FL\ '."vlES in \\·hich linger \\"iggling must slOp a l 1he e nd of the s ig n \\" hl'll 1hc sign is prod uced ph rascfinally. and 1hc ill-fo rmed sig n in \\·hich \\"iggli ng co 111in ucs th roughout 1hc sign. Figure 8.lh sho\\'s 1hc sign GER\l:\\J Y also produced in a phrase- final posit ion . In this case . w iggling must he execu ted 1h ro ug hnu 1 1hc sign·s articu lation . and the lorm parallel IO CO-L"P- 1:\ -FL:\ \I ES is incorrcn . Pcrl111u 11cr accou nts fo r 1he d iffe rences bCl\\"CC n I hcse l\\"O i"orm:> by p ro po~i ng thal ~cconcl a ry 11Hl\'Cl11C lll can occur o nly 0 11 the n uc leus ( 1hc peak ) o r a s ig n syllable (dclinccl in 1crni:-. of ll Hl \ 'Cmcnt ( \ 1) and posit ion ( I' ) scgm cn ts). Regard less o r \\" hc1hcr Pcrl 111u11cr"s syllabic analysis wrns ou1 10 he eo1Tcc1. the po in t is 1ha1 1hnc arc 11011-ob\·io us cons1ra in 1s

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Man ual gcs1 ure:-. 111ay abo he sining l\lge1hcr. a:- i11 1he c:xarnpk -..htm n in l'ig. 8.H. In 1his cxa111pk. 1he sig ner is descrihi11g a ~cc n c in 1he ·Frog' :-.tory in \\·hich the boy peers owr a log. sers a group llf bahy l'rngs. and gr-;i urrs 10 1hr dog 10 he quiel and ro m c O \ ' l'r 10 the log. T he :-.cqur ncc is purel y ge:-.1u ral \1·i1h no h ierarchical or co111p\l ncn1 ial s1ruc111rc.

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Do \1~11rrs gcstw ( ?

pol-en u11cr:rncc., can also c;1.h1bi1 n co mposite of li nguis11c ,ind ge'>tural clements. but it 1s Ci\5)' lo di-;1inguish between the li nguistic signal and dc1clic gesture bccau c thcr occur in diffe rent modal11 1e . In addiuon. the gestural componen t does 1101 1nOucncc the form of 111dl\ 1dual spoken words as it doc-; fo r -;1gncd language-; I 1ddcll (111 prc:-.s. p.26) c;1.p la1ns that the one d1ffc rcncc [he bl proposi ng between signed langu ages .ind .. poken langu.1gc'-. " th.u '1gncd langu.1ge;, ha,•c .ill de' eloped in "h1ch .11low th e gc.,tu ral compon ent to combine "1lh the 11ngu1sucally 'pecif1ed fc.11 ure" of '>O me cl•h."t'' of ~•gns " 11hout mtcrfcnng "tth t he Jhil11, to recognize the ::.1gn~ th em.,ch e::.


13oth :.pcakcrs :rnd signe rs produce utterance th.11 combine words concurrcn llr \\ ll h glllrc , bu t for signed languages the dc1Cl!C ge lllrc b supen mpo-cd on the word and thus n l tc~ i ts fom1, -.incc the \\ Ord and gesture arc 111 the -,amc modal IL, If L1ddcll 1s correct the n signi ng '>pace 1s gc wrc s pace.} Furthermore, L1ddefl\, proposal suggestign'> relevant to his pro po~1 I arc extremely common and pervade the langu,1ge. The a nnlogouc, deictic gcc,tu rcs of pea kc~ :i re much rarer. Under tins propoc,al. ' 1gners must rapidl) .rnd frequcnth tntcgrate l111gu1'>t1c rcprC (1C where the hands .ire directed 111 '> 1gning or real r;pacc). Thus , ror '> 1gn language'> there m:1y be a very in timate con 11cct ion between Ii ngu ist 1c -.t rucw re ,111d 11011 hngu i'> llC rcpresc11tntion:. of spa11,1I relation-. ('>cc ,1lso Emmorcy 1996) Listener, muc,1 ill o be able to integrate llllgu1 not a n in tegral part or comp rchens1on Thnt is. pcech 1:. qmtc comp rehe nsible even when gestu rewrnl componen t f unctio n Do ge«tures perform the a mc runction for signer.- that they do for speaker-.? 11 seem-, unli kely th.11 the manual, bod)'. or fac1:1l gc tures prod uced by signer-, runcl!on 10 facil1ta tc le\'.1ca l Lurcs pre cnted here depict ho" so meone., hnnd or bod, move d uri ng .111 event dcscnbcd by the signer Furt her research m:iy reveal other type::. or manu:d nnd body gesture'> In particular, it seems likely thnt signer-, p1od uce inter:icu ve ge'>lllfC'> dun ng COO\ ersat10l1'> f3:wclas a nd he1 colleague'> dc.,cnbe a t) pc or

Kw-c11 Emmorcy


gc:.turc wh ich makes rdcrcncc to the in terlocu tor. rnther than to the topic of the cli·cour c (Bnvcla er n/ 1992, 1995). f-or example, in teractive gestures help coordinate 1urn-1a king during a dia logue. pcakcrs may gc turallr trans fer n tu rn by [>rod ucing a gestu re towa rds the addre cc (of1 en with the pnlm up. a l)'Pe of ·giving' gesture) o r may tn ke the turn by rroduci ng age turc toward ll1cmsclve.-; (Bavelas er al. 1995). 1mtlarly. s igners produce a well-known wavi ng gesture which can be u ccJ to requc t a turn within a conversation : the open ha nd (pnlm do wn) is directed towa rd · the 1nterlocu 1o r a nd the wris t oscil lntes up and clown . This gesture indicate a desire for the noor (i t IS also u· cd generally a :i gesture to gain at te nt io n.) r=unhcr re enrch m:iy revc:i l o ther 111anu,1I :ind non-m,1nu,1I in ternctiv(' gestures. Eyeg:izc and head mo tions :ire p:inicul:i rly good candicfare:. for non-ma nual gc 1ures th:i t 111:1 )' perform o mc of the i111e rnctive func tion:, which 13.ivclas h:i uncove red fo r the m,1nual gestures of :,peakers. i\s noted cnrli er. spe:ikcrs produce g turcs eve n when they ca nno t be seen by their addressee. This pheno menon has been taken a evidence that ge ·1ures perfo rm a cogn it ive func tion. as well as a commun icat ive o ne. Mc Neill ( 1992. p 109) uggcsts 1ha1 gc turcs reveal ,1~pccts

of ! the ~pca kcr's] rnncr m cn 1:1I proct"..:,c:- ,rnd po int'> of ,•kw 1ow:1rd~ event" when th r'c .ire not a r1i cul,11cd tn ~pccch . In p.cqu rc' we arc able to th e im ap,1-.1ic form of the tural. Engberg-Pederson videot,1pcd a :,igncr describing a rearl )' meeting o r the N th.It ha,·c been p ro posed for the gc!>lllres o f -.pcakcr:.

Refere n ce i\rm~ 1 ro ng

D f· • , A ( 1995). hrld rcn·~ comribu t1on to the birth of Nicaraguan 1gn L1ngu.1ge. Un puhlt~h cd D.Ph il. thesis. MI T Supalla. T ( 1982) l ructure and Jcqurs1uon of verb~ or lllOllOll and locat\On in 1\ mcrican 1gn L111guage. Unpublis hed D.Pl11l. Lhe»r>. L.r11 ,•cr,tl)' of Californ ia at an Diego upalla. T ( 1990). cnal verb>, of mouo n tn t\ L. In Th eo1et1cal issues 111 srgn /onguagc rcsec11cl1, Vol. I· Llng111s11c) (ed. . F1,chcr and P. 1pk). pp 27-52. Unrvcr!>tl)' of Chicago Pres~. Supalla. T and --:e,,po rt. E ( 1978). llow man · scatS 111 a chair> The denvarion o r noun~ ,1nd ''Crbs in t\ mc ncan 1gn Language In U11dcrsw11di11g lcrnguage througli sign lcmguage 1r,e, 1'cw Yori... Taub. ( 1997) L1ngu:igc tr1 the bod)" 1con 1C11)' .md mc1,1phor 111 1\ me rican 1gn Lrngu:igc Lnp ubh!> hed D.Phrl. Un ivcr,11' of C rcpcuuon. /\ ;: s ign 111d1cate!> :l lingcr,,pellcd loan .,ign /\line abovC' a sign (~) indicate!> the !>Cope of the facial expression named .it the end of the hnc Classifier fo rms arc abbre''Hllcd "ith CL. and a descnp1ion of the classifier fonn may be given as a bracketed subscnpt (hs stands for 'hand.shape'). C:nghsh glosses are given 111 quotation::.. The 'frog' stories by ::.igncr, B D and 0 C were collected by J ud y Reilly. Example ( 16)-( 19) were" orked out in collaborauon "'11h Ed ward Klima. This point was brought 10 Ill)' Jttc nuon by Judy Reilly. Gesture space excludes locauon disttncuons tha1 MC specified in the lexicon Liddell (in pre~:.) note:. 1ha1 the sign~ POINT ,111d GOAL M C the onl) ASL !>1g11.'> d1~tinguis hed by where the ' uc .uticul,ucd w11h1n sigmng space uch location d1St1ncti on~ would be ::.pecified lexically a nd would not consti tute J gestural use of s1gn111g sptice ~·gning

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