Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0774-5141
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9676



In this contribution, we offer a first exploration of stance expressions in Flemish Sign Language (VGT). Biber and Finegan (1989) define stance as the expression of feelings, attitudes, judgments, commitments, and assessments. The few studies focusing on stance in signed languages have shown that stance can be expressed by various structures and mechanisms such as lexical signs, manual gestures (e.g., Palm Up gestures) and embodiment/mental space blends. We will examine if these findings apply to Flemish Sign Language, and we will identify other means of expressing stance in VGT.

In this exploratory study, we focus on the following questions: (1) which articulators and semiotic resources can be used in Flemish Sign Language to express stance?; and (2) How are visible bodily actions through different articulators integrated temporally in stance expressions?

Our study is based on the analysis of about five hours of data from the Corpus Flemish Sign Language. We present examples from our dataset to illustrate that stance can be expressed through a range of structures and mechanisms (such as lexical signs, manual gestures, enactment, and non-manual features), expressed either sequentially or simultaneously by a multitude of articulators. Moreover, we zoom in on the phenomenon of stance-stacking and analyse how multiple stance expressions can be combined in VGT.

Available under the CC BY 4.0 license.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): enactment; Flemish Sign Language; multimodality; polysemiotic; stance; stance-stacking
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