Achieving mutual understanding in Argentine Sign Language (LSA)
[S.l. : s.n.]
Number of pages
XVIII, 219 p.
Radboud University, 7 april 2017
Promotores : Enfield, N.J., Levinson, S.C. Co-promotores : Crasborn, O.A., Floyd, S.I.
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SubjectInteractional Foundations of Language; Language & Communication; Meaning, culture and cognition; Sign Language Linguistics; The study of olfactory language and cognition across diverse cultures, as well as within specialist communities such as perfumiers and wine-tasters (Vici)
How does (mis)understanding works in conversation? Problems of understanding occur all the time in our everyday social life. How does miscommunication happen and how do we deal with it? This thesis reports on how sign language users manage to understand each other based on a large Conversational Corpus collected in Argentina (2010-2014). The ability to communicate with others is one the most basic and powerful tools we have as humans. Communication only occurs when mutual understanding takes place among people participating in a conversation. Problems of understanding have extensively been studied in a range of disciplines. However, the focus has been exclusively on spoken languages. But no matter what combination of modalities it is used, all language users are faced with the challenge of maintaining and achieving mutual understanding in their everyday informal conversations. Bodily language, facial and manual gestures, as well as eye contact have been shown by many scholars to play a fundamental role in communication. Elizabeth Manrique examined the multiple direct and indirect strategies that sign language users display when facing difficulties in signing, seeing and understanding. Manrique’s thesis has aimed to make a contribution to our knowledge of human understanding by offering an in-depth empirical study of Argentine Sign Language (LSA). Advancing our knowledge of the visual and gestural communicative strategies that accompany breakdowns in conversation does not only have theoretical, but also educational and therapeutic relevance, especially nowadays since our communicational demands are changing rapidly due to the intense role technology plays in our social face-to-face interactions.
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