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Reference Resolution in French Sign Language (LSF)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the expression of nominal reference in French Sign Language (LSF). It shows that an analysis of nominal reference in sign languages (SL) has to take into consideration not only lexical signs but also the constructions currently referred to as classifier constructions in the literature. It begins by reviewing the debate regarding the description and status of non-conventional units in SL literature. The chapter presents theoretical framework and explains the centrality of nonconventional units for the structural economy of SL. It discusses the main studies of nominal reference in a number of SLs, couched in diverse theoretical approaches. The chapter shows how the interaction between lexical units and non-conventional units allows a better understanding of the expression of nominal reference in SL. It concludes that the potential contribution of SL research is provided for the understanding of the linguistic expression of reference.

Keywords: French Sign Language (LSF); linguistic expression; non-conventional units; SL literature



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