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Journal Article

Interrogative constructions in sign languages - Cross-linguistic perspectives


Zeshan,  Ulrike
Sign Language Typology, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Space , MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Zeshan, U. (2004). Interrogative constructions in sign languages - Cross-linguistic perspectives. Language, 80(1), 7-39.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-1A82-9
This article reports on results from a broad crosslinguistic study based on data from thirty-five signed languages around the world. The study is the first of its kind, and the typological generalizations presented here cover the domain of interrogative structures as they appear across a wide range of geographically and genetically distinct signed languages. Manual and nonmanual ways of marking basic types of questions in signed languages are investigated. As a result, it becomes clear that the range of crosslinguistic variation is extensive for some subparameters, such as the structure of question-word paradigms, while other parameters, such as the use of nonmanual expressions in questions, show more similarities across signed languages. Finally, it is instructive to compare the findings from signed language typology to relevant data from spoken languages at a more abstract, crossmodality level.