Plural marking in Czech Sign Language



Year of publication 2018
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The paper discusses sign repetition as a strategy for plural marking in the Czech Sign Language (CSL), where \repetition" is to be understood as a theory neutral term for what is sometimes called reduplication (Steinbach 2012). Sign repetition is compared to plural marking strategies in spoken language, and a new analysis of plural marking is suggested. Sign repetition as plural marking. In CSL, several plural marking strategies are employed, including no marking of plurality, the use of classi_ers, and the repetition of a sign (Vojtechovsky 2013). As pointed out in Steinbach (2012), there are phonological restrictions on which signs may be repeated and which not, and these restrictions apply in the CSL as well. Our focus here is limited in scope to the signs that may be repeated in order to express plurality. For such nouns, the pattern is such that the number of repetitions broadly determines the number of referents (cf. Vojtechovsky 2013). There is a difference between discreet non-reduced signing, leading to an exact interpretation, or the repetition of the sign with shorter, reduced movements, leading to plural interpretation. If correct, our analysis entails that languages may in fact use a variety of strategies to arrive at a plural denotation. In the particular case of CSL, the result is that an apparently similar morphosyntactic process (sign repetition) creates a seeming of similarity to a spoken language pluralization, where in fact the strategies are quite different.
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