Description and readings for Wilbur EALing lectures

Background reading: 1. Sandler and Lillo-Martin Natural Sign Lgs 2001 Sandler Lillo-Martin Natural Sign Lgs 2001

Day 1 will introduce the Event Visibility Hypothesis as an explanation of the use of certain types of space and temporal dynamics in sign languages. (1) Support for this hypothesis will be presented from the verb systems of American Sign Language (ASL), Austrian Sign Language (OGS), and Croatian Sign Language (HZJ). If possible, data will be collected from French Sign Language. (2) Additional support for this hypothesis will be given from the behavior of the mouth, introducing static Posture-nonmanuals and dynamic Transition-nonmanuals. (3) This hypothesis will then be extended to adjectives in ASL (and possibly HZJ). (4) Experimental evidence in the form of motion capture data for ASL and HZJ, and neuroimaging data for ASL, will be presented. (5) Finally, an event-based analysis of reduplicated aspectual forms will be presented, showing how the apparent myriad forms can be derived compositionally.

2. Wilbur, R. B. (2003). Representations of telicity in ASL. CLS 39, 354-368. Wilbur Telicity CLS 39
3. Wilbur, R. B. (2008). Complex predicates involving events, time and aspect: Is this why sign languages look so similar? In J. Quer (ed.), Signs of the time: Selected papers from TISLR 2004, pp. 217-250. Hamburg: Signum Press. Wilbur in Quer 2008 from TISLR2004
4. Wilbur, R. B., Malaia, E., Shay, R. A. (In press). Degree modification and intensification in ASL adjectives. 18th Amsterdam Colloquium. Springer FoLLI Publications on Logic, Language and Information. Wilbur Malaia Shay AMS
5. Wilbur, R. B. (2009). Productive reduplication in ASL, a fundamentally monosyllabic language. In M. Kenstowicz (ed.), Data and Theory: Papers in Phonology in Celebration of Charles W. Kisseberth, a special issue of Language Sciences 31: 325-342. Wilbur redup in monosyll lg 2009

Day 2 will follow up on the nonmanuals (NMs) used in grammatical ways in sign languages by looking at the bigger picture than just the mouth, including 14 facial, head, and body articulators other than the hands. We will establish the articulators, their planes of motion, and their (relative) independence and introduce the notion of layered articulation. Functional separation of upper and lower face articulators interacts with phrasal domain versus edge marking. Discussion will focus on debates concerning the functions of NMs from prosodic, intonational, syntactic, and semantic perspectives. We will conclude with the NMs-as-Operators Hypothesis and a testable crosslinguistic prediction.

6. Chapter 15 from Sandler, W. & D. Lillo-Martin (2005). Sign Language and Linguistic Universals. Cambridge University Press. SandlerLillo-Martin_ch15 prosody
7. Brentari, D. and L. Crossley 2002 Prosody on the hands and face: Evidence from American Sign Language. Sign Language & Linguistics 5:2 (2002), 105-130. Brentari and Crossley 2002
8. Wilbur NMs 2011 > Nonmanuals, semantic operators, domain marking, and the solution to two outstanding puzzles in ASL. Sign Language & Linguistics 14:1 (2011), 148-178. Wilbur NMs 2011

Day 3 will discuss information structure and how it is represented in sign languages. When information is sent from one individual to another, the state of the information in the receiver's knowledge store changes. Thus, information structure is a way of describing decisions that senders make when packaging information to be sent, and that receivers make when unpackaging received information. We will discuss aspects of information structure, starting with an introduction to the notions of `focus' and `topic'. Then we explore the linguistic encodings associated with various types of topics and those associated with focus. Unlike topics, which generally appear at the beginning of sentences, focus is involved in a complex interaction with word order and stress/prominence assignment. Additional discussion is included on the relationship between focus and stress, and on syntactic structures that serve focusing functions (e.g. clefts, wh-clefts).

9. Wilbur, R. B. (1997). A prosodic/pragmatic explanation for word order variation in ASL with typological implications. In K. Lee, E. Sweetser & M. Verspoor (Eds.) Lexical and syntactic constructions and the construction of meaning, Vol. 1, pp. 89-104. Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Wilbur 1997 Prag-pros explanation
10. Wilbur, R. B. Information structure. In Pfau, Roland, Markus Steinbach & Bencie Woll (eds.), Sign language. An international handbook (HSK - Handbooks of linguistics and communication science), 462-489. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Wilbur information structure