Expressions of causation in Danish Sign Language
The paper presents lexical and syntactic means of expressing causation in Danish Sign Language (DTS). Labile verbs are verbs that can be used both intransitively with an inchoative meaning and transitively with a causative meaning without a change in form and irrespective of the type of classifier predicate that they may relate to. Labile verbs in DTS denote common, well-known types of events, often of direct causation. DTS also has a syntactic causative construction with a general causative verb arbejde ‘make, do’ followed by a stative verb denoting the resulting state. forandre ‘change’ can also be used to express causation, but with a more specific meaning than arbejde and also followed by dynamic verbs. In narrative style signers describe sequences of events without explicitly coding any causal relation between the events. The causal relation is left to pragmatic inference in accordance with the narrative style’s emphasis on vivid representation rather than explanation.
Keywords: Danish Sign Language, transitivity, classifier predicates, verb alternation, causation
Published online: 23 August 2010
Cited by 1 other publications
Rissman, Lilia & Susan Goldin-Meadow
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