Investigating Understudied Sign Languages - Croatian SL and Austrian SL, with comparison to American SL
  • ISSN 1387-9316
  • E-ISSN: 1569-996X
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This paper focuses on the phonological visibility of event structure of non-classifier predicates in Austrian Sign Language (ÖGS) as proposed in the Event Visibility Hypothesis (EVH) (Grose et al. 2006; Wilbur in press). The aim of this paper is to investigate the event structure of ÖGS predicate signs and to test the applicability of the EVH. The analysis provides evidence that the event structure of ÖGS predicates is also phonologically visible and that the two unrelated sign languages ASL and ÖGS use the same set of morphemes to mark telic and atelic event structures. The actual phonological realizations of these morphemes, however, are language dependent. The present paper adds to the EVH with a discussion of the observed inability of some predicates to be marked for telicity and with the analysis of mouth nonmanuals which are suggested to be sensitive to the event structure. These nonmanuals divide into two types: (1) continuous posture or P-nonmanuals, composed of a single facial posture which functions as an adverbial modifier of the event, and (2) discontinuous transition or T-nonmanuals, composed of a single abrupt change in the position of the articulator, which appear to emphasize the initial or final portion of the event structure.


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