Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1568-1475
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9773
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This paper investigates, with the help of motion capture data processed on corpus principles, the characteristics of head and upper-torso movements in constructed action and regular narration (i.e., signing without constructed action) in FinSL. Specifically, the paper evaluates the validity of two arguments concerning constructed action: that constructed action forms a continuum with regular narration, and that constructed action divides into three subtypes (i.e., overt, reduced, and subtle). The results presented in the paper support the first argument but not directly the second one. Because of the ambiguous position of reduced constructed action in between subtle and overt constructed action, we argue in the paper that the present three-part typology of constructed action may need revising. As an alternative way of subcategorizing the phenomenon we propose a division between strong and weak constructed action.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Burger, Birgitta , Saarikallio, Suvi , Luck, Geoff , Thompson, Marc , & Toiviainen, Petri
    (2013) Relationships between perceived emotions in music and music-induced movement. Music Perception, 30 (5), 519–535. 10.1525/mp.2013.30.5.517
    https://doi.org/10.1525/mp.2013.30.5.517 [Google Scholar]
  2. Burger, Birgitta & Toiviainen, Petri
    (2013) MoCap Toolbox: A Matlab toolbox for computational analysis of movement data. In Roberto Bresin (Ed.), Proceedings of the 10th Sound and Music Computing Conference, Stockholm, Sweden (pp. 172–178). Berlin: Logos.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Burger, Birgitta , Puupponen, Anna , & Jantunen, Tommi
    (2018) Synchronizing eye tracking and optical motion capture: How to bring them together. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 11 (2), 5. 10.16910/jemr.11.2.5
    https://doi.org/10.16910/jemr.11.2.5 [Google Scholar]
  4. Cormier, Kearsy , Smith, Sandra , & Sevcikova Sehyr, Zed
    (2015) Rethinking constructed action. Sign Language & Linguistics, 18 (2), 167–204. 10.1075/sll.18.2.01cor
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sll.18.2.01cor [Google Scholar]
  5. Crasborn, Onno & Sloetjes, Han
    (2008) Enhanced ELAN functionality for sign language corpora. In Onno Crasborn , Elene Efthimiou , Thomas Hanke , Ernst D. Thoutenhoofd , & Inge Zwitserlood (Eds.), Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Construction and Exploitation of Sign Language Corpora (pp. 39–43). Paris: ELRA.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. De Beuzeville, Louise , Johnston, Trevor , & Schembri, Adam
    (2009) The use of space with indicating verbs in Australian Sign Language: A corpus-based investigation. Sign Language & Linguistics, 12 (1), 52–83. 10.1075/sll.12.1.03deb
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sll.12.1.03deb [Google Scholar]
  7. Enfield, Nick
    (2009) The anatomy of meaning: Speech, gesture, and composite utterances. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511576737
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511576737 [Google Scholar]
  8. Engberg-Pedersen, Elisabeth
    (2015) Perspective in signed discourse: The privileged status of the signer’s locus and gaze. Open Linguistics, 1, 411–431. 10.1515/opli‑2015‑0010
    https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2015-0010 [Google Scholar]
  9. Ferrara, Lindsay & Johnston, Trevor
    (2014) Elaborating who’s what: A study of constructed action and clause structure in Auslan (Australian Sign Language). Australian Journal of Linguistics, 34 (2), 193–215. 10.1080/07268602.2014.887405
    https://doi.org/10.1080/07268602.2014.887405 [Google Scholar]
  10. Ferrara, Lindsay & Hodge, Gabrielle
    (2018) Language as description, indication, and depiction. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 716. 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00716
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00716 [Google Scholar]
  11. Herrmann, Annika & Steinbach, Markus
    (2012) Quotation in sign languages: A visible context shift. In Ingrid van Alphen & Isabelle Buchstaller (Eds.), Quotatives: Cross-linguistic and cross-disciplinary perspectives (pp. 203–230). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/celcr.15.12her
    https://doi.org/10.1075/celcr.15.12her [Google Scholar]
  12. Hodge, Gabrielle & Cormier, Kearsy
    (2019) Reported speech as enactment. Linguistic Typology, 23 (1), 185–196. 10.1515/lingty‑2019‑0008
    https://doi.org/10.1515/lingty-2019-0008 [Google Scholar]
  13. Hodge, Gabrielle & Ferrara, Lindsay
    (2014) Showing the story: Enactment as performance in Auslan narratives. In Lauren Gawne & Jill Vaughan (Eds.), Selected papers from the 44th Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society 2013 (pp. 372–397). Melbourne: University of Melbourne.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Jantunen, Tommi
    (2013) Signs and transitions: Do they differ phonetically and does it matter?Sign Language Studies, 13 (2), 211–237. 10.1353/sls.2013.0004
    https://doi.org/10.1353/sls.2013.0004 [Google Scholar]
  15. (2017) Constructed action, the clause and the nature of syntax in Finnish Sign Language. Open Linguistics, 3, 65–85. 10.1515/opli‑2017‑0004
    https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2017-0004 [Google Scholar]
  16. (2018) Viittomakielet hybridisysteemeinä: hämärärajaisuus ja epäkonventionaalisuus osana viittomakielten rakennetta [Sign languages as hybrid systems: Gradience and unconventionality as a part of the structure of sign languages]. Puhe ja kieli, 38 (3), 109–126. 10.23997/pk.77382
    https://doi.org/10.23997/pk.77382 [Google Scholar]
  17. Jantunen, Tommi , Burger, Birgitta , & Puupponen, Anna
    (2018) Constructed action types and eye behavior in Finnish Sign Language. Paper presented at the 8th Conference of the International Society for Gesture Studies (ISGS 8). Cape Town, South Africa, July 4–8, 2018.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Jantunen, Tommi , Puupponen, Anna , & Burger, Birgitta
    (2020) What comes first: Combining motion capture and eye tracking data to study the order of articulators in constructed action in sign language narratives. InProceedings of the 12th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2020) (pp. 6003–6007). Paris: ELRA.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Johnston, Trevor
    (2010) From archive to corpus: Transcription and annotation in the creation of signed language corpora. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 15 (1), 106–131. 10.1075/ijcl.15.1.05joh
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.15.1.05joh [Google Scholar]
  20. Kendon, Adam
    (2004) Gesture: Visible action as utterance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511807572
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511807572 [Google Scholar]
  21. Lillo-Martin, Dianne
    (2012) Utterance reports and constructed action. In Roland Pfau , Markus Steinbach , & Bencie Woll (Eds.), Sign language: An international handbook (pp. 365–387). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9783110261325.365
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110261325.365 [Google Scholar]
  22. Puupponen, Anna
    (2018) The relationship between the movements and positions of the head and the torso in Finnish Sign Language. Sign Language Studies, 18 (2), 175–214. 10.1353/sls.2018.0000
    https://doi.org/10.1353/sls.2018.0000 [Google Scholar]
  23. (2019) Towards understanding nonmanuality: A semiotic treatment of signers’ head movements. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 4 (1), 39. 10.5334/gjgl.709
    https://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.709 [Google Scholar]
  24. Puupponen, Anna , Wainio, Tuija , Burger, Birgitta , & Jantunen, Tommi
    (2015) Head movements in Finnish Sign Language on the basis of Motion Capture data: A study of the form and function of nods, nodding, head thrusts, and head pulls. Sign Language & Linguistics, 18 (1), 41–89. 10.1075/sll.18.1.02puu
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sll.18.1.02puu [Google Scholar]
  25. Salonen, Juhana , Wainio, Tuija , Kronqvist, Antti , & Keränen, Jarkko
    (2018) Suomen viittomakielten korpusprojektin (CFINSL) annotointiohjeet. 1. versio. Kielija viestintätieteiden laitos, Jyväskylän yliopisto.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Tyrone, Martha & Mauk, Claude
    (2010) Sign lowering and phonetic reduction in American Sign Language. Journal of Phonetics, 38, 317–328. 10.1016/j.wocn.2010.02.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wocn.2010.02.003 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error