Article published in:The Conversation Frame: Forms and functions of fictive interaction
Edited by Esther Pascual and Sergeiy Sandler
[Human Cognitive Processing 55] 2016
► pp. 171–192
Fictive question-answer pairs for non-information-seeking functions across signed languages
This chapter deals with the multifunctional use of the question-answer sequence, which constitutes a prototypical conversational and intersubjective structure, across signed languages. Specifically, I examine the use of polar and content questions, and their subsequent answers, for the expression of non-information-seeking functions, namely topicality, conditionality, focus, connection, and relativization. The study is based on a qualitative analysis of Catalan Sign Language and published data on 30 signed languages. The analysis shows that the question-answer sequence has been grammaticalized and constitutes the unmarked or by-default option to encode these linguistic functions. I argue that the pattern forms a highly schematic symbolic unit and that the specific linguistic constructions, which are instances of fictive interaction, form a complex network.
Published online: 01 November 2016
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