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Open Linguistics: Topical Issue on Sign Linguistics and Gesture Studies

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Elisabeth Engberg-PedersenDepartment of Scandinavian Studies and Linguistics, University of Copenhagen


Thomas DoukasHonorary Research Associate, Linguistics – Developmental Science, Division of Psychology & Language Sciences, UCL


After a period when sign linguists invested much energy and research time on showing how sign languages share features such as double articulation, clause embedding, etc. with oral languages, more and more linguists studying sign languages have become interested in examining the overlap and similarities between gestures and sign languages. On the other hand, gesture studies can benefit from more than fifty years of research on form features of signs and their syntactic and discourse functions.

In this special issue of Open Linguistics, we seek to bring together research papers on sign languages and gesture that illuminate different aspects of the two forms of communication and especially their similarities and differences.

Pointing and self-reference in French and French Sign Language
A. Morgenstern, S. Caët, F. Limousin

Perspective in signed discourse: the privileged status of the signer’s locus and gaze
Elisabeth Engberg-Pedersen

The parallel development of the form and meaning of two-handed gestures and linguistic information packaging within a clause in narrative
Kazuki Sekine, Sotaro Kita

Multimodal analysis of quotation in oral narratives
Kashmiri Stec, Mike Huiskes, Gisela Redeker

Indicating verbs in British Sign Language favour motivated use of space
Kearsy Cormier, Jordan Fenlon, Adam Schembri

Forging a morphological system out of two dimensions: Agentivity and number
Laura Horton, Susan Goldin-Meadow, Marie Coppola, Ann Senghas, Diane Brentari

Towards a classification of weak hand holds
Vadim Kimmelman, Anna Sáfár, Onno Crasborn