What is it about?

This paper presents a usage-based, Cognitive Grammar analysis of Place as a symbolic structure in signed languages. We suggest that many signs are better viewed as constructions in which schematic or specific formal properties are extracted from usage events alongside specific or schematic meaning. We argue that pointing signs are complex constructions composed of a pointing device and a Place, each of which are symbolic structures having form and meaning. We extend our analysis to antecedent-anaphora constructions and directional verb constructions. Finally, we discuss how the usage-based approach suggests a new way of understanding the relationship between language and gesture.

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Why is it important?

Usage-based constructional approaches offer a new an innovative approach to understanding structural properties of signed languages.

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This page is a summary of: Constructing signs: Place as a symbolic structure in signed languages, Cognitive Linguistics, January 2016, De Gruyter, DOI: 10.1515/cog-2016-0003.
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