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

Hübl, A., Maier, E. & Steinbach, M., 2019, In : Sign Language & Linguistics. 22, 2, p. 171–209 39 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171–209
Number of pages39
JournalSign Language & Linguistics
Issue number2
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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