WhenNovember 30, 2018 03:30 PM - 05:00 PM
WhereBeecher Hall, Room 101
Contact InformationLinguistics Department
DescriptionRyan Lepic from the Goldin-Meadow Lab will present: the title and abstract are below.

Title: Entrenchment and Reduction in American Sign Language

Usage-based approaches, whether addressing language development (Lieven 2016), language processing (Ibbotsen 2013, Christiansen and Chater 2016), or language change (Bybee 2010), consider grammatical structure to be emergent from general cognitive mechanisms. In usage-based Construction Grammar, where grammatical patterns are analyzed as constructional pairings of function and form, an additional research question concerns the development and organization of constructions in linguistic knowledge (Croft 2001, Goldberg 2006). This talk considers the cognitive mechanisms of chunking, entrenchment, and routinization in order to explain the development of three construction types, multiword expressions, fingerspelled words, and morphologically complex signs, in American Sign Language. These phenomena have been previously described through reference to the process of "lexicalization" (cf. Battison 1978, Liddell and Johnson 1986, Brentari 1998, Johnston and Schembri 1999, Sandler and Lillo-Martin 2006, Johnston and Ferrara 2012). However, usage-based approaches dispense with the notion of the lexicon; this renders lexicalization, the process of adopting an item into the lexicon, theoretically obsolete. Instead, I suggest that the advantage of a usage-based approach for linguistic theory and description is that it anticipates the existence of linguistic constructions that exhibit analyzable internal structure and holistic properties, simultaneously. This alternate framing alleviates the burden for sign language linguists to determine whether or not linguistic constructions have become "lexicalized", and instead directs analysts to focus on the degree to which linguistic constructs are represented in any language user's mental representation of their language.
CategoriesConferences/Lectures, Meetings, Workshops
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