Author Topic: Differences between signed languages and spoken languages  (Read 10222 times)

Offline MalFet

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Re: Differences between signed languages and spoken languages
« Reply #45 on: February 05, 2014, 04:42:44 AM »
And for the record, I'm beginning to understand a lot of what you're talking about with the difficulty of segmentation. I'm not entirely convinced about constituency (chunks seem generally separable, at least most of the time), but I can't imagine figuring out a system of basic contrasts or a way to write it.

I'm not entirely convinced that constituency is impossible, either. That's why I (and many others) have spent much of the last ten years working on the problem. That's the rub. It's a problem, and we wouldn't be very good scientists if we presumed from the outset that we knew what the answer was going to be.

Of course you can identify "chunks". That's not the same as linguistic constituency, however. This is what Mark Aronoff refers to as the "paradox" of sign language morphology. The segmentable chunks you're seeing play host to a very daunting extent of simultaneity, and figuring out how to account for it requires either an astronomically vast extent of allomorphy or an alternative theory of constituency. Neither option is immediately satisfying, but in the decades of work on this topic, nobody has really found a satisfying alternative either.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Differences between signed languages and spoken languages
« Reply #46 on: February 05, 2014, 09:08:51 AM »
Hm... right, consistency. That does seem to be a problem.
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Offline adalian

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Re: Differences between signed languages and spoken languages
« Reply #47 on: October 06, 2015, 04:42:09 PM »
Spoken language differs from signed languages because i think the latter needs semiotics.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Differences between signed languages and spoken languages
« Reply #48 on: October 06, 2015, 04:58:15 PM »
Semiotics = meaning of signs? Of course both spoken and signed languages have some kind of semiotics (in fact, in many ways very similar). Maybe you mean that signed languages tend to be more iconic than spoken languages? And at least to some extent, that does seem to be true. On the other hand that might be due to the fact that many signed languages are quite young (at least in any widespread/standardized form) so that they haven't yet developed, through long term historical drift, the kind of extensive arbitrariness found in spoken languages, which represent at least tens of thousands of years of development.
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