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Derivation Lexicale En Iangues Gestveiles Et Chinoises

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image of Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale

Given a certain number of basic signs (gestural lexical items), the lexicon of a sign language can expand by modifying the morphology of its basic items. The case I present here concerns only those data where morphological modification is exploited as a lexical branching device, i.e., where a sign acquires a new signification but no additional, morphemes after undergoing such a modification, and the root form of that sign retains its original, meaning.The movement parameter is the principal device of an intrinsic nature for lexical branching in sign languages. In this respect, the movement modification in sign language is comparable to tonal modification in certain oral languages. In Cantonese, for example, the difference between cognate pairs such as "sugar:sweet is marked by a tonal shift. Tones are generally attached to the vowels. Since vowels are the nuclei of syllables in a sonorous modality as movements are of signs in a visually dynamic medium, we can consider the two lexical, branching mechanisms in their respective systems to be parallel linguistic phenomena.


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