Pronouns in Mexican Sign Language.Report as inadecuate

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This paper provides an analysis of the manual and non-manual pronouns identified in Mexican Sign Language (MSL) used by a female speaker in 1993, discusses syntactic uses of each type, and examines pronoun deletion. MSL has two distinct modes of expressing pronominal relationships: manual pronouns (including indexical, incorporated, classifiers, initialized, and possessives) and non-manual pronouns, such as linguistically significant eye-gazes and body shifts. But the study of pronominal usage in MSL must also include the sociolinguistic situation of the language, especially considering the widespread bilingualism of its users. With respect to pronouns, the pervasiveness of Spanish in the daily lives of MSL users shows itself primarily in the relexification of some Spanish pronominals into the MSL system, resulting in syntactic variability. The study of pronouns in MSL is thus fruitful not only for the linguistic phenomena that it illustrates and its bearing on cross-linguistic pronominal representations in sign languages, but also for the sociolinguistic insights it provides into the life of the Mexican deaf. (Contains seven references.) (NAV)

Descriptors: Deafness, Foreign Countries, Language Patterns, Pronouns, Sign Language, Structural Analysis (Linguistics), Uncommonly Taught Languages

Author: Plumlee, Marilyn


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