2013-2015: Clause combining in sign languages: the grammar of complex sentences in Catalan Sign Language in a crosslinguistic and crossmodal perspective (ClauseCombiSL2)

Clause combining, i.e. the grammatical mechanisms that integrate clauses into bigger sentential units, has received little attention to date in sign languages (SLs). This project builds and expands on the previous one, ClauseCombiSL1. After having described and analyzed several prototypical cases of subordination in Catalan SL (LSC) such as relatives, embedded declaratives and conditionals, the new phase intends to cover a broader range of structures by addressing two main questions: (a) what are the morphosyntactic properties of the Complementizer Phrase region of complex sentences, also known as left (and right) periphery, and how does it interact with the syntactic derivation in the inflectional domain? (b) what are the core interface properties of syntax and prosody and to what extent and how do the two modules interact in human language? We try to answer them on the basis of original descriptive work in LSC and from now on also in Spanish SL (LSE), thus allowing for comparative analysis in two closely related SLs. The answers are cast in the analytical tools provided in linguistic theory and should therefore contribute to a better understanding of clause combining mechanisms of human language, irrespective of the modality (visual-gestural vs. aural-oral).

Principal investigator: 
Josep Quer
Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO / FFI2012-36238)
May, 2013 to December, 2015