Sign Language Semantics: Problems and Prospects
Philippe Schlenker
October 2018

'Visible Meaning' (Schlenker 2018b) claims (i) that sign language makes visible some aspects of the Logical Form of sentences that are covert in spoken language, and (ii) that, along some dimensions, sign languages are more expressive than spoken languages because iconic conditions can be found at their logical core. Following nine peer commentaries, we clarify both claims and discuss three main issues: what is the nature of the interaction between logic and iconicity in sign language and beyond? does iconicity in sign language play the same role as gestures in spoken language? and is sign language Role Shift best analyzed in terms of visible context shift, or by way of demonstrations referring to gestures? Note: While this article is intended to be self-contained, it originated in replies to peer commentaries on 'Visible Meaning', a target article in Theoretical Linguistics 2018; reference is made throughout to 'Visible Meaning', and to the commentaries.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004196
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Theoretical Linguistics 2018
keywords: sign language, semantics, iconicity, gestures, role shift, co-speech gestures, pro-speech gestures, semantics
previous versions: v2 [October 2018]
v1 [September 2018]
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