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14/02/19: Seminari GLiF a càrrec de Markus Steinbach (University of Göttingen)

14/02/19: Seminari GLiF a càrrec de Markus Steinbach (University of Göttingen)

11.02.2019

 

Títol: "JA, NEIN, DOCH or STIMMT-NICHT? An Empirical Study on Response Particles in German Sign Language" a càrrec de Markus Steinbach (University of Göttingen)

Data: dijous 14 de febrer del 2019

Hora: 12.00 h

Lloc:  sala de reunions 52.935 + 52.939 - 7a planta - edifici 52. Roc Boronat - Campus del Poblenou - UPF

Resum: Response particle systems vary across languages in terms of the number of particles and in terms of their discourse functions. Where some languages have two particles (like English yes and no), others have three (like German ja, nein and doch). Traditional accounts of such response systems make a distinction between truth-based and polarity-based systems (see, e.g., Pope 1976, Jones 1999). In truth-based systems, yes-type answers confirm the truth of the antecedent proposition (1bi, 2bii) while no-type answers disconfirm, i.e. reject, it (1bii, 2bi). In polarity-based systems, on the other hand, response particles signal the polarity of the response clause as either positive (yes-type particle, 1bi, 2bi) or negative (no-type particle, 1bii, 2bii). As (1-2) illustrate for English, languages may also employ both response systems and use no to either reject the truth of a proposition (1aii) or signal the negative polarity of the response (2bii). Languages with a tripartite system, like German, often have a dedicated response particle for rejecting negative propositions (scenario 2bi), although other types of dedicated particles exist as well (Roelofsen & Farkas 2015). 

 
(1) a.      Anna smokes.       (2) a.     Anna doesn’t smoke.
      b.  i. Yes (=She does).                                                b. i. Yes/?No (=She does).   
           ii. No (=She doesn’t)                                                   ii. ??Yes/No (=She doesn’t)
 
When it comes to the visual-gestural modality, very little is known about the inventory of response particles in sign languages (but see Gonzalez et al. on ASL), including their role in signaling truth vs. polarity. Sign languages are of particular interest here since they have multiple articulatory channels available which may simultaneously encode truth and polarity. The present study provides experimental data from a production experiment with 24 native signers of DGS, which investigated responses to positive and negative assertions in DGS. The study shows that DGS favors a truth-based over a polarity-based strategy but also exhibits some modality-specific response strategies that combine truth and polarity.
 

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