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LINGUIST List 16.2765

Mon Sep 26 2005

Diss: Phonetics/Phonology: Crasborn: 'Phonetic ...'

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        1.    Onno Crasborn, Phonetic Implementation of Phonological Categories in Sign Language of the Netherlands


Message 1: Phonetic Implementation of Phonological Categories in Sign Language of the Netherlands
Date: 26-Sep-2005
From: Onno Crasborn <o.crasbornlet.ru.nl>
Subject: Phonetic Implementation of Phonological Categories in Sign Language of the Netherlands


Institution: Leiden Center for Linguistics (ULCL)
Program: Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2001

Author: Onno Crasborn

Dissertation Title: Phonetic Implementation of Phonological Categories in Sign Language of the Netherlands

Dissertation URL: http://www.lotpublications.nl/publish/issues/Crasborn/index.html

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
                            Phonology

Subject Language(s): Dutch Sign Language (dse)

Dissertation Director:
Colin Ewen
Vincent van Heuven
Harry van der Hulst

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis describes several patterns of phonetic variation in Sign
Language of the Netherlands. While lexical variation between different
regions has been found in the Netherlands, little is known about phonetic
or phonological variation - for example between different signers or
between different communicative situations.

Phonetic variation in the realization of some of the traditional handshape
and orientation features is analyzed in detail. Furthermore, data were
elicited from different registers: short-distance signing ('whispering')
was compared to long-distance signing ('shouting').

Results show that differences between registers lead not only to variation
in movement size, but also to changes in the traditional phonological
categories. In enlarged realizations, as in shouting, handshape and
orientation changes may be enhanced by a location change; in reduced forms,
as in whispering, location changes may be realized as changes in
orientation or handshape. While the distinction between the three
parameters handshape, orientation and location remains valid, it is argued
that their definition needs to be stated in global perceptual targets
rather than in detailed articulatory terms in a comprehensive analysis of
the various differences between registers.

The data thus provide evidence for a strict separation of perceptual and
articulatory characterizations of signs. The lexical specification contains
only perceptual targets. The strong claim is made that states of the joints
of the arm and hand need not be specified until the phonetic implementation
stage of sign production. The variants of signs that are found are thereby
analyzed as different articulations of a constant perceptual target. The
variation is thus not generated by a phonological process, but is a matter
of phonetic implementation.

This study is of interest to linguists studying sign languages, and to
researchers interested in the phonetics-phonology interface.





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