Disjunctive discourse referents in French Sign Language

Jeremy David Kuhn

Abstract


Disjoined noun phrases, like indefinites, may introduce indeterminate discourse referents. Disjunction provides more flexibility in some respects than indefinites, though, as the two disjuncts may bear different morphological features, and a disjunctive discourse referent may have a split antecedent. Sign language, too, has been shown to bear on arguments pertaining to discourse anaphora. Notably, discourse referents may be established at locations in the signing space (loci), closely paralleling the use of variables in dynamic semantics. Here, we compare several theories of disjunctive anaphora and of space in sign language with new data from French Sign Language (LSF). We argue that loci must be mediated by a featural layer that iconically preserves mereological properties.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/salt.v31i0.5116

Copyright (c) 2022 Jeremy David Kuhn