Language from the Body: Iconicity and Metaphor in American Sign Language

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 26, 2001 - Psychology
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What is the role of meaning in linguistic theory? Generative linguists have severely limited the influence of meaning, claiming that language is not affected by other cognitive processes and that semantics does not influence linguistic form. Conversely, cognitivist and functionalist linguists believe that meaning pervades and motivates all levels of linguistic structure. This dispute can be resolved conclusively by evidence from signed languages. Signed languages are full of iconic linguistic items: words, inflections, and even syntactic constructions with structural similarities between their physical form and their referents' form. Iconic items can have concrete meanings and also abstract meanings through conceptual metaphors. Language from the Body rebuts the generativist linguistic theories which separate form and meaning and asserts that iconicity can only be described in a cognitivist framework where meaning can influence form.
 

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Contents

CHAPTER ONE A Glimpse of the Material
1
CHAPTER TWO Motivation and Linguistic Theory
8
CHAPTER THREE Iconicity Defined and Demonstrated
19
CHAPTER FOUR The AnalogueBuilding Model of Linguistic Iconicity
43
CHAPTER FIVE Survey of Iconicity in Signed and Spoken Languages
63
The Double Mapping
94
CHAPTER SEVEN Many Metaphors in a Single Sign
114
CHAPTER EIGHT The Vertical Scale as Source Domain
138
CHAPTER NINE Verb Agreement Paths in American Sign Language
159
CHAPTER TEN Complex Superposition of Metaphors in an American Sign Language Poem
196
CHAPTER ELEVEN The Future of SignedLanguage Research
222
APPENDIX ONE Glossing Conventions
232
APPENDIX TWO Translation of The Treasure
234
References
239
Index
249
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