The ubiquity of mouthings in NGT A corpus study
Utrecht : LOT
Number of pages
XII, 152 p p.
Radboud University, 30 januari 2015
Promotor : Hout, R.W.N.M. van Co-promotor : Crasborn, O.A.
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SubjectDigging into Data; Language in Mind; Sign Language Linguistics
When deaf signers of Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT, Nederlandse Gebarentaal) sign among themselves, they often combine their signing with moutings: mouthed lexical items from spoken Dutch. Using a corpus of (semi-)spontaneous signing by deaf native signers, this dissertation investigates the co-occurrence of these mouthings with NGT signs, how they vary between tokens of the same sign, and how they combine with signs and sentences. The relation between mouthings and signs appears to be not very tight. Although most signs are accompanied by so-called standard mouthings, there is variation in the way mouthings are temporally reduced, variation in the use of either a mouthing or a mouth gesture with a sign, and to an minor extent variation in the choice of Dutch lexical items that are used as mouthings. Mouthings do not necessarily have a one-to-one relation with the signs they co-occur with. They can spread over adjacent signs to combine and group multiple signs under one mouthing, or they can occur in the sign stream without an accompanying sign, fullfilling a role that instead could have been taken by a manual sign. The general conclusion is that mouthings are a paramount feature in NGT communication, and that they can be analysed as instances of code-blending, the simultaneous mixing of languages in different modalities.
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