Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Tense and *aspect inflections in Mexican Sign Language verbs
by Fridman-Mintz, Boris, Ph.D., Georgetown University, 2006, 332; 3231003
Abstract (Summary)

Forty-nine videotaped clips of Mexican Sign Language (LSM), mostly narratives, were transcribed with glosses. The identified verbal signs were identified, and classified for further analysis. The videotaped subjects were two native signers (one with Deaf signing parents). The analysis led to the conclusion that LSM is an inflective language. A paradigm of nine verbal categories was identified: Present, Perfective Past, Perfective Future, Imperfective, Exhortative, Deontic, Assertive, Imperfective Non-Future and Imperfective Future. This dissertation focuses on the exhaustive description of the first four categories.

A Cognitive Grammar (CG) approach (Langacker 1987a, 1991) was applied for the description of the semantic and morphosyntactic interactions of each inflection with three verbal Aktionsort subcategories: durative, punctual, and stative. Imperfective usages (e.g. habitual) and imaginary synchronizations (e.g. historical present) result from the Present form of durative verbs. Inchoative meanings emerge from the Perfective Past, or Perfective Future inflection of stative verbs, each with its corresponding temporal grounding. And the Imperfective inflection of durative verbs produces a progressive aspect. So far, no equivalent set of inflectionally induced aspectual nuances and tense categories has been reported for any other sign language.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Tyler, Andrea
School: Georgetown University
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 67/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Cognitive therapy
Keywords: Aspect, Grammar, Inflections, Mexican Sign Language, Sign language, Tense, Verbs
Publication Number: 3231003
ISBN: 978-0-542-85281-7
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