Article published in:Nonmanuals in Sign Language
Edited by Annika Herrmann and Markus Steinbach
[Sign Language & Linguistics 14:1] 2011
► pp. 115–147
Nonmanual markings for topic constructions in Hong Kong Sign Language
Across sign languages, topic constructions are marked by nonmanual features such as a brow raise and head tilt. This study investigates whether a topic constituent is marked nonmanually in Hong Kong Sign Language. Spontaneous and elicited data show that the majority of ‘scene-setting’ topics, which provide a temporal, spatial or individual framework for the proposition in the sentence, are accompanied with a brow raise and a specific head/body position different from the rest of the sentence. In contrast, ‘aboutness’ topics that represent what a sentence is about are neither marked by nonmanuals consistently nor separated intonationally from the rest of the sentence. Grammatical objects fronted to the sentence-initial position are not marked nonmanually, either. The findings suggest that there are cross-linguistic differences with respect to the functions of nonmanuals in the information structuring of sign languages.
Keywords: ‘scene-setting’ topics, fronting of grammatical objects, ‘aboutness’ topics, nonmanual markings, Hong Kong Sign Language
Published online: 11 August 2011
Cited by other publications
Jarque Moyano, Maria Josep
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 14 december 2020. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.