The more you move, the more action you construct
A motion capture study on head and upper-torso movements in constructed action in Finnish Sign Language narratives
This paper investigates, with the help of motion capture data processed on corpus principles, the characteristics of head and upper-torso movements in constructed action and regular narration (i.e., signing without constructed action) in FinSL. Specifically, the paper evaluates the validity of two arguments concerning constructed action: that constructed action forms a continuum with regular narration, and that constructed action divides into three subtypes (i.e., overt, reduced, and subtle). The results presented in the paper support the first argument but not directly the second one. Because of the ambiguous position of reduced constructed action in between subtle and overt constructed action, we argue in the paper that the present three-part typology of constructed action may need revising. As an alternative way of subcategorizing the phenomenon we propose a division between strong and weak constructed action.
Keywords: constructed action, narration, motion capture, kinematics, sign language, Finnish Sign Language
Published online: 18 May 2021
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