This study investigates the frequency and functions of a ubiquitous form in conversational NZSL discourse glossed as palm-up. Dictionaries show that it is a polysemous vocabulary item in NZSL, although many of its uses in discourse are not accounted for in the lexicon. Analysis of discourse data from 20 signers shows it to be the second most frequently occuring item, and to exhibit phonological variation. We identify and discuss four (non-exclusive) functions of palm-up in this data: cohesive, modal, interactive, and manual frame for unpredictable mouthings (codemixing). Correspondences in form, linguistic context, and meaning are found between uses of palm-up in NZSL, similar forms in other signed languages, and co-speech palm gestures. The study affirms previous descriptions of this form as having properties of both gesture and sign, and suggests that it also has features of a discourse marker.
2020. Unaddressed participants’ gaze behavior in Flemish Sign Language interactions: Planning gaze shifts after recognizing an upcoming (possible) turn completion. Journal of Pragmatics 162 ► pp. 62 ff.
Willoughby, Louisa, Howard Manns, Shimako Iwasaki & Meredith Bartlett
2019. Are you trying to be funny? Communicating humour in deafblind conversations. Discourse Studies 21:5 ► pp. 584 ff.
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