Variation in the use of constructed action according to discourse type and age in Finnish Sign Language
Puupponen, A., Kanto, L., Wainio, T., & Jantunen, T. (2022). Variation in the use of constructed action according to discourse type and age in Finnish Sign Language. Language and Communication, 83, 16-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langcom.2021.11.006
Published inLanguage and Communication
© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
This paper presents a study of the use of constructed action (CA) in the stories and conversations of adult Finnish Sign Language (FinSL) signers of different ages. CA is defined here as a type of depiction in which a signer enacts the actions, feelings, thoughts and utterances of discourse referents with different parts of their body. Most studies on CA in sign languages have been done on the basis of signed storytelling, and little is known about how the use of CA varies in different discourse types. The use of CA has also been noted to vary between individual signers, but we do not yet know much about the socio-individual phenomena that may be linked to this variation. In the present study, we investigate whether the use of CA is different in the stories and the conversations of adult FinSL signers, and whether younger (18–39) and older (50–79) adult signers use CA differently in stories and conversations. The study is based on the manual annotation of video data recorded for the Corpus of Finnish Sign Language (Corpus FinSL) and the analysis includes frequency descriptions and statistical analysis. The data show that there is a statistically significant difference in the use of CA in stories and conversations, and that in storytelling, older adults use significantly more CA than younger adults. This difference between the two age groups is particularly evident in the overt uses of CA. The work presented here points toward the need for more investigation of CA in non-narrative discourse contexts and in the language use of signers of different ages. ...
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Project, AoF
Additional information about fundingThe financial support of the Academy of Finland under the grant 339268 is also gratefully acknowledged.
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