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LINGUIST List 24.3831

Mon Sep 30 2013

Diss: Discourse Analysis: Rogers: 'American Sign Language Verb Categories in Constructed Action'

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <xiyanlinguistlist.org>

Date: 30-Sep-2013
From: K. Rogers <klrogersunt.edu>
Subject: American Sign Language Verb Categories in Constructed Action
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Institution: University of Texas at Arlington
Program: Department of Linguistics and TESOL
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2012

Author: K. Larry Rogers

Dissertation Title: American Sign Language Verb Categories in Constructed Action

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis

Subject Language(s): American Sign Language (ase)

Dissertation Director:
Laurel Stvan
Susan Mather
John Ross

Dissertation Abstract:

The American Sign Language construction commonly known as 'role-shift'
superficially resembles mimic forms, however unlike mime, role-shift is a
type of depicting construction in ASL discourse (Roy 1989). The signer may
use eye gaze, head shift, facial expression, stylistic variation, and use
of signing space to convey information (Lee 1997). While this construction
may involve a level of gesture, it is linguistic in nature (Padden 1990).
'Role-shift may be used to recreate the action in a narrative, thus the
term: constructed action' (Metzger 1995). This aspect to depict action is
the particular focus of this study.

Participants were videotaped telling one of two narratives in order to
analyze these instantiations of the CA framework. Specifically, this study
looks at the verb types used in CA. The study then questions the
interrelational function(s) between CA and verb types and posits possible
explanations for their patterns. The study concludes with a positive
correlation for a specific verb used in ASL constructed action and that a
cognitive iconicity principle may license the use of constructed action.

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