Intonation and grammar in the visual-gestural modality

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Although certain facial nonmanual articulations in sign languages have been analyzed as overt markers of a syntactic domain or semantic scope, an alternative view defends that they genuinely signal prosodic domains. Moreover, they have been claimed to convey discrete general meanings. I address the open question of the proper characterization of nonmanual domain markers by studying brow raise in Catalan Sign Language (LSC). It marks conditional antecedents and other dependent clauses in the left periphery. This study aims to determine whether LSC conditionals offer new evidence in favor of one of the two types of competing analyses, and concludes that brow raise is a portmanteau marker of syntactic integration of the dependent clause into the matrix, potentially layered with other nonmanuals.


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