Negation can be considered a shared social action that develops since early infancy with very basic acts of refusals or rejection. Inspired by an approach to the embodiment of concepts known as Multiple Representation Theories (MRT, henceforth), the present paper explores negation as an embodied action that relies on both sensorimotor and linguistic/social information. Despite the different variants, MRT accounts share the basic ideas that both linguistic/social and sensorimotor information concur to the processes of concepts formation and representation and that the balance between these components depends on the kind of concept, the context, or the performed task. In the present research we will apply the MRT framework for exploring negation in Italian sign language (LIS). The nature of negation in LIS has been explored in continuity with the co-speech gesture where negative elements are encoded through differentiated prosodic and gestural strategies across languages. Data have been collected in naturalistic settings that may allow a much wider understanding of negation both in speech and in spoken language with a semi-structured interview. Five LIS participants with age range 30–80 were recruited and interviewed with the aim of understanding the continuity between gesture and sign in negation. Results highlight that negation utterances mirror the functions of rejection, non-existence and denial that have been described in language acquisition both in deaf and hearing children. These different steps of acquisition of negation show a different balance between sensorimotor, linguistic and social information in the construction of negative meaning that the MRT is able to enlighten.

On the embodiment of negation in Italian Sign Language (LIS): an approach based on multiple representation theories

Giulia Di Stasio
Secondo
Data Curation
;
Sabina Fontana
Ultimo
Conceptualization
2022

Abstract

Negation can be considered a shared social action that develops since early infancy with very basic acts of refusals or rejection. Inspired by an approach to the embodiment of concepts known as Multiple Representation Theories (MRT, henceforth), the present paper explores negation as an embodied action that relies on both sensorimotor and linguistic/social information. Despite the different variants, MRT accounts share the basic ideas that both linguistic/social and sensorimotor information concur to the processes of concepts formation and representation and that the balance between these components depends on the kind of concept, the context, or the performed task. In the present research we will apply the MRT framework for exploring negation in Italian sign language (LIS). The nature of negation in LIS has been explored in continuity with the co-speech gesture where negative elements are encoded through differentiated prosodic and gestural strategies across languages. Data have been collected in naturalistic settings that may allow a much wider understanding of negation both in speech and in spoken language with a semi-structured interview. Five LIS participants with age range 30–80 were recruited and interviewed with the aim of understanding the continuity between gesture and sign in negation. Results highlight that negation utterances mirror the functions of rejection, non-existence and denial that have been described in language acquisition both in deaf and hearing children. These different steps of acquisition of negation show a different balance between sensorimotor, linguistic and social information in the construction of negative meaning that the MRT is able to enlighten.
Negation, Multiple Representation Theory, Embodiment, Italian Sign Language
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/537472
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact