Tid: Måndag 15 april 2019, kl. 15:00 – 17:00
Plats: Övningslabbet, Södra huset, Frescati
Föreläsningen hålls på engelska. Teckenspråkstolkar finns.


An important aim of modern linguistics is to unite the communicative practices resulting from different ways of being (e.g. deaf, hearing) into a global theoretical framework that facilitates continuity with other lines of scientific inquiry. Here we promote a theory of language that accounts for how diverse humans (e.g. deaf, hearing) coordinate diverse semiotic repertoires in face-to-face communication (Ferrara & Hodge, 2018). We build on Clark’s (1996) theory of language use as ‘actioned’ via three methods of signaling: describing (e.g. via the conventionalised form-meaning pairings documented in a dictionary), indicating (e.g. via bodily actions that index referents to the space in front of the signer’s body), and depicting (e.g. via mimetic bodily enactments of people, animals or things). Each method is fundamentally different to the other, and they can be used alone or in combination with others during the joint creation of multimodal ‘composite utterances’ (Enfield, 2009). We demonstrate how this framework can be applied to corpus data from three deaf signed languages (Auslan, British Sign Language, and Norwegian Sign Language) and one ambient spoken language (Australian English). We want to show that consideration of the interaction of all three modes (rather than just one in isolation from the others) is necessary for ‘modality-agnostic’ (Dingemanse, in press) comparisons of signed and spoken language use, and therefore for investigating important principles of language organisation such as frequency and systematicity on a universal scale.

Clark, H. H. (1996). Using Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dingemanse, M. (in press). “Ideophone” as a comparative concept. In K. Akita & P. Pardeshi (Eds.). Ideophones, mimetics, and expressives. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Enfield, N.J., 2009. The Anatomy of Meaning: Speech, Gesture, and Composite Utterances. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ferrara, L., & G. Hodge. (2018). ‘Language as description, indication, and depiction’. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:716. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00716.