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Variation in handshape and orientation in British Sign Language: The case of the '1' hand configuration

Fenlon, J; Schembri, A; Rentelis, R; Cormier, K; (2013) Variation in handshape and orientation in British Sign Language: The case of the '1' hand configuration. Language & Communication , 33 (1) 69 - 91. 10.1016/j.langcom.2012.09.001. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper investigates phonological variation in British Sign Language (BSL) signs produced with a ‘1’ hand configuration in citation form. Multivariate analyses of 2084 tokens reveals that handshape variation in these signs is constrained by linguistic factors (e.g., the preceding and following phonological environment, grammatical category, indexicality, lexical frequency). The only significant social factor was region. For the subset of signs where orientation was also investigated, only grammatical function was important (the surrounding phonological environment and social factors were not significant). The implications for an understanding of pointing signs in signed languages are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: Variation in handshape and orientation in British Sign Language: The case of the '1' hand configuration
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.langcom.2012.09.001
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.langcom.2012.09.001
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Sign language, Sociolinguistic variation, Phonology, Pointing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1358300
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