Towards understanding nonmanuality : A semiotic treatment of signers’ head movements
Puupponen, A. (2019). Towards understanding nonmanuality : A semiotic treatment of signers’ head movements. Glossa, 4 (1), 39. doi:10.5334/gjgl.709
© 2019 The Author.
This article discusses a certain type of nonmanual action, signers’ head movements, from a semiotic perspective. It presents a typology of head movements and their iconic, indexical and symbolic features based on Peircean and post-Peircean semiotics. The paper argues for the view that (i) indexical strategies are very prominent in head movements, (ii) iconic features are most evident in enacting, while non-enacting description is less common, (iii) symbolic types for tokens are infrequent, although some movements—such as nodding and shaking the head—may become more conventional or schematized, and (iv) different types of head movements involve different proportions of iconicity, indexicality and symbolicity as well as different degrees of control in their production and interpretation. The treatment of head movements is extended to a discussion of semiotic versatility in the signification of actions of a signer’s body, as well as to the treatment of nonmanuals in the theoretical description of sign languages. Finally, the paper presents a perspective on nonmanuals in which different nonmanual cues are examples of how signification, and human cognition in general, are closely connected to the embodied experience of existing and navigating in the physical and social world around us. ...
PublisherUbiquity Press Ltd.
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