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Title: Nominal modification in Italian sign language (LIS)
Authors: Mantovan, Lara
Issue Date: Jan-2015
Publisher: Universit√† Ca' Foscari Venezia
Abstract: This dissertation presents a systematic analysis on the syntax of nominal expressions in LIS (Italian sign language). Combining three apparently irreconcilable theoretical frameworks, namely linguistic typology, generative linguistics, and sociolinguistics, new insights on the structure of LIS nominal domain are offered. In this thesis, three empirical studies are presented. The first one is a quantitative study on the distribution of LIS nominal modifiers with respect to the noun. The second one is a quantitative study on the duration of these modifiers. The findings resulting from these two studies, both based on the investigation of corpus data through statistical computing, reveal that the variation instantiated in LIS nominal expressions display a considerable amount of linguistic variation. However, this variation is far from being random since it appears highly constrained by the syntactic options that natural languages allow. The third study focuses on the syntactic behavior characterizing cardinal numerals in LIS. In particular, this study shows how quantitative and qualitative procedures can be fruitfully combined together in order to provide a clearer picture of the issue under investigation. The analysis of corpus data and elicited data specifically collected for this thesis reveals that the distribution of cardinals is highly sensitive to the fine-grained distinction between definite and indefinite nominal expressions. All these aspects are accounted for in a syntactic analysis showing that the constraints observed in crosslinguistic variation are also applicable to languages instantiating intralinguistic variation like LIS.
Appears in Collections:Sign Languages and Culture of Deaf People. Ca' Foscari University Dissertations

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