Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-9316
  • E-ISSN: 1569-996X
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Handshape change is the change of handshape from one configuration to another. It is a unique and pervasive pattern attested in sign languages. The issue here is how to represent this change of handshape phonologically. Previous studies on handshape change were mostly done on American Sign Language (ASL) and two different ways of representing handshape change have been proposed. Some models (e.g. Liddell 1990; Uyechi 1996) propose that all surface handshapes are represented underlyingly, whereas others (e.g. Brentari 1998; Corina 1993; Sandler 1989) suggest representing only one handshape because the other handshape is predictable. Handshape change attested in monomorphemic signs in Taiwan Sign Language (TSL) will be described and analyzed in this paper. I argue that the TSL data support the latter view. In addition, a restrictive model is preferred if it can describe the data adequately and at the same time does not over-generate.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): handshape change; phonological representation; Taiwan Sign Language
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