Structural correlation between location and movement of signs: lacking motion economy for co-speech gestures. - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2017

Structural correlation between location and movement of signs: lacking motion economy for co-speech gestures.

Corrélation structurelle entre emplacement et mouvement des signes: manque d'ergonomie pour les gestes

Correlazione strutturale tra posizionamento e movimento dei segni: mancanza di ergonomia nei gesti


Descriptions and analysis for co-speech gestures and for sign languages belong to different traditions: from phonology for sign languages (Stokoe 1960; Brentari 1998; Johnson & Liddell 2010; 2011a; 2011b) and from ethnology and pragmatic fields for co-speech gestures (De Jorio 1832; Mallery 1881; Mauss 1934; Kendon 1988). Thus, the descriptive types are parametric for SL and functional for gestures.The comparison between co-speech gestures and sign languages goes through a common analysis, either functional or formal. Because of language-specific status of LS, on one hand, and co-speech status for gestures, on the other, a functional approach seems to be asymmetric. However, a formal approach -through a common transcript- allows to place SL and co-speech gestures on the same footing.Several formal transcription systems exist already. Developed for SL, the most used -HamNoSys (Prillwitz et al. 1989) and SignWriting (Sutton 1995)- do not offer the span of granularity which exists nevertheless between LS and co-speech gestures. Handshapes, very diversified in the case of LS are fewer and fuzzier for the gestures. We have designed a glyphic system for transcription (Typannot) which corresponds to this range of granularity. Currently, the handshapes glyphs span more than 230 handshapes (based on Eccarius & Brentari’s inventory, 2008) and potentially all SL handshapes around the world. Each glyph has a graphematic formula which describes all the features of the considered handshape. Each feature is designed by a generic glyph. These generics make up together, offering several levels of depiction. From the base till a complete handshape including feature compositions, the notation system Typannot allows to transcribe and to demand several granularities.We will expose the capacity of Typannot to transcribe and to compare several corpora in three different SLs as well as several co-speech gestures. The transcript concerns all the manual parameters (handshapes, orientation, location and movement). The location is specified for each segment (arm, forearm and hand). The way we conceive the movement is based on the categories of Johnson & Liddell (2011a; 2011b). The transcripts are done with ELAN software (Sloetjes & Wittenburg 2008). We investigate the internal formal structure of co-speech gestures and signs in a contrastive manner. The results show structural links between the parameters location and movement for sign languages and a looser link for co-speech gestures. A principle of motion economy rules a part of the parametric structure for signs. It correlates the location and the direction of the movement of the signs. These two parameters are deeply involved in the general shape of sign. This principle does not apply to the same extent to gestures, whose forms are more dependant of the concurrent speech.BIBLIOGRAPHYBrentari D. 1998. A prosodic model of sign language phonology. The MIT Press (Cambridge).De Jorio A. 1832. La mimica degli antichi investigata nel gestire napoletano. Stamperia del Fibreno: 380 p. [available on Google books]Eccarius P., Brentari D. 2008. Handshape coding made easier: a theoretically based notation for phonological transcription. Sign Language & Linguistics 11(1): 69-101.Johnson R.E. & S.K. Liddell. 2010. Toward a phonetic representation of signs: sequentiality and contrast. Sign Language Studies, 11(2): 241-274. R.E., Liddell S.K. 2011a. Toward a phonetic representation of hand configuration: the fingers. Sign Language Studies, 12(1): 5-45. R.E., Liddell S.K. 2011b. Toward a phonetic representation of hand configuration: the thumb. Sign Language Studies, 12(2): 316-333. A. 1988. How gestures can become like words. in: "Cross-cultural perspectives in nonverbal communication" (F. Poyato ed.). C.J. Hogrefe (Toronto): 131-141.Mallery G. 1881. Sign language among North American Indians. reprinted: 2010, Dover Publications (Mineola NY)Mauss M. 1934. Les techniques du corps. presentée au Congres de la Societé de Psychologie le 17 mai, publiée dans le Journal de Psychologie Normale et Pathologique, 32(3-4), version numerique par Université du Quebec en 2002.Prillwitz S., Leven R., Zienert H., Hanke T., Henning J. 1989. Hamburg notation system for sign languages: an introductory guide. Signum Press (Hamburg): 46 p.Sloetjes H., Wittenburg P. 2008. Annotation by category - ELAN and ISO DCR. in: Proc. 6th Intl Conf. Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2008).Stokoe W.C. 1960. Sign language structure: an outline of the visual communication systems of the American deaf. Studies in Linguistics, 8 (occasional papers). reprinted in: 2005. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 10(1): 3-37.Sutton V. 1995. Lessons in SignWriting: textbook & workbook. Deaf Action Committee for Sign Writing (La Jolla CA).


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hal-02342840 , version 1 (16-05-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-02342840 , version 1


Claire Danet, Dominique Boutet, Claudia S. Bianchini, Léa Chèvrefils, Patrick Doan, et al.. Structural correlation between location and movement of signs: lacking motion economy for co-speech gestures.. Language as a form of Action, CNR Rome, Jun 2017, Rome, Italy. ⟨hal-02342840⟩
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