How long is the sign?
Jantunen, T. (2015). How long is the sign?. Linguistics, 53 (1), 93-124. doi:10.1515/ling-2014-0032
© De Gruyter Mouton, 2015. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
his paper deals with the relative empirical length of signs in sign languages and provides evidence for the view that they are actually longer units than has hitherto been recognized. The evidence is presented from two perspectives: those of sign articulation and sign recognition. Concerning sign articulation, it is suggested that signs are longer units than is currently assumed because most of the structural features of signs are in fact already present before the currently accepted beginnings of signs and they continue after signs' generally accepted endings. Concerning sign recognition, the longer view of the sign is proposed on the grounds that the recognition point of signs is typically located before their alleged beginning, and because signs (as currently understood) can also be recognized on the basis of parts of their subsequent transitions only. The nature of the longer sign is discussed together with some more general consequences for sign language research of the revision of our view of what a sign might be. ...