Verbal Categories in Turkish Sign Language

Bozşahin, Hüseyin Cem
Sevinç, Ayça Müge
This study is a preliminary investigation of verb classes in Turkish Sign Language (TiD), and how they can be captured in a lexicalized generative grammar. TiD manifests an array of verb classes, as in other sign languages: plain verbs, single/double agreement verbs, and spatial verbs. Syntactic categorisation of these verb classes is a challenge to any linguistic theory because it involves multi-modal features (manual and nonmanual signs), a relativistic pronominal reference scheme, an unorthodox morphology for signs and iconicity. We start our investigation with directionality (and grammatical relations) because they are considered to be basic for understanding syntactic asymmetries, as Ross (1967) and subsequent research has shown for coordination and extraction. Rather than confining ourselves to single clauses without embedding, we investigate syntactic constructions and try to determine word order and directionality. An important assumption in this approach is that directionality can be captured in the lexicon, in the lexical categories of verbs, as a systematic combinatory property of argument-taking entities such as verbs, under the guidance of an invariant Universal Grammar (Steedman 1996, 2000). The question then becomes testing the hypotheses on directionality of verbs by looking at syntactic constructions that depend on verbal categories coming from the lexicon.
Citation Formats
H. C. Bozşahin and A. M. Sevinç, Verbal Categories in Turkish Sign Language. 2016, p. 229.