#ALL versus ALL in American Sign Language (ASL)

Margaret Ruth Crabtree, Ronnie B. Wilbur


This paper extends a visible pattern (“iconicity”) that has been observed in sign language verbs and adjectives to quantification in American Sign Language (ASL). The Event Visibility Hypothesis (EVH) states that boundedness is morphophonologically encoded in articulation of a rapid deceleration of movement at the end of a sign (aka end-marking). Here the EVH is applied to the two ASL quantifiers glossed #ALL and ALL. Doing so accounts for the semantic distinction between them: ALL is definite (bounded), whereas #ALL is underspecified for definiteness (unbounded).


sign language; ASL; American Sign Language; quantification; universal quantification; ALL; Event Visibility Hypothesis; EVH; iconicity

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v5i1.4761

Copyright (c) 2020 Margaret Ruth Crabtree, Ronnie B. Wilbur

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