To shift or not to shift: Quotation and attraction in DGS

Annika Hübl, Emar Maier, Markus Steinbach

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There are two main competing views about the nature of sign language role shift within formal semantics
today: Quer (2005) and Schlenker (2017a,b), following now standard analyses of indexical shift in spoken
languages, analyze it as a so­called ‘monstrous operator’, while K. Davidson (2015) and Maier (2017),
following more traditional and cognitive approaches, analyze it as form of quotation. Examples of role shift in
which some indexicals are shifted and some unshifted pose a prima facie problem for both approaches. We show that the quotational approach can deal with these examples in terms of unquotation and a pragmatic principle of ‘attraction’. We present a systematic empirical investigation of the predictions of the quotation/attraction approach in DGS (German Sign Language). Results for the second person pronoun, IX2, fully support the attraction hypothesis, while results for IX1 and HERE are inconclusive.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)171–209
Aantal pagina's39
TijdschriftSign Language & Linguistics
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
Vroegere onlinedatum2019
StatusPublished - 2019

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