Gallaudet University Webcast

VL2 Presentation: Dr. Erin Wilkinson

April 18, 2012
3:45 PM - 5:30 PM

Unlocking the grammatical system of SELF: A functional description

SELF is conventionally defined as an ASL grammatical sign to function as a reflexive pronoun similar to English –self. The main question of the study is: If ASL has a variety of SELF forms, then do they all function similar and/or differently in ASL grammar? 

My corpus-based study of 15 hours finds that ASL has three distinct forms of SELF, and these forms express a range of grammatical functions. The distributional analysis shows that SELF is not best analyzed as a reflexive pronoun but instead can be viewed as an emphatic marker. In the talk, I will present evidence that the grammatical system of SELF is more complex than traditionally described.

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