2016-2020: The Grammar of Reference in Catalan Sign Language (LSC)

This project aims at covering a whole domain of Catalan Sign Language (LSC) grammar that is still poorly understood for the most part or only partially addressed: reference. Under this very broad header we encompass the morphological, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic means that LSC has at its disposal in order to mainly talk about individuals, but also about times and worlds, for instance. The four areas of research to be tackled are: (i) the morphosyntax of Determiner Phrases; (ii) the pronominal system; (iii) quantification, and (iv) anaphoric chains in discourse. The descriptive part of the project will heavily rely of an innovative tool designed for this specific purpose, the SignGram Blueprint, and on the available data in the LSC corpus. The formal analysis will focus on the required morphophonological, syntactic semantic and pragmatic aspects that are targeted in each subdomain. Collaboration with the Sign Language Lab in the University of Göttingen will add the dimension of crosslinguistic comparative work with German Sign Language (DGS) in a number of the topics addressed in this project. The current proposal will not only increase our knowledge about several underresearched areas in LSC, but it will also contribute to a better understanding of modality-specific and modality-independent aspects of reference in signed languages, thus offering new input for the study of the human faculty of language.



Principal investigator: 
Josep Quer
Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO / FFI2015-68594-P)
January, 2016 to December, 2019