The paper deals with the iconic and indexical relations of lexical signs in German Sign Language (DGS). It is argued that the theory of signs as established by Charles S. Peirce is particular fruitful with respect to the description and classification of signs in the visual-gestural modality, but also needs some additional discussion on the nature of the relation between sign and reference object. As will be demonstrated, motivated signs in German Sign Language are more complex with respect to indexicality and iconicity as is recognized in contemporary research. Accordingly, the paper discusses the necessity to modify the typology of linguistic signs with respect to sign languages. It will be demonstrated that there has to be established a class of schematic signs within the group of hypoicons. Secondly, it is argued that DGS has a class of motivated but non-iconic signs, which show a designative-indexical relation which relates to the spoken or written form of a word of the oral contact language German. In sum, a modified typology of lexical signs is established which not only includes the sign types symbol, index and (image)icon but also the new types schematic icon and indicator (‘Hinweis’).
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