Title: LOOKing for multi-word expressions in American Sign Language
Abstract: Compared to spoken languages, signed languages have not received the same level of scrutiny for sequentiality, or the sequential structure of multiple signs, i.e. sequences. This talk focuses on multi-word expressions (MWEs) with a family of LOOK signs in American Sign Language (ASL). Traditionally, LOOK is understood to be a verb of visual perception that carries the prototypical meaning of ‘to look at a referent.’ A closer look at usage data leads me to propose the following argument. LOOK is in the process of grammaticalizing to a stance verb, and this ongoing grammaticalization can be observed in recurring sequences that likely emerged from repeated chunking. The implications of the findings shed insight about the role of chunking in the emergence of linguistic structure and meaning, particularly MWEs, in ASL.
Bio (as taken from Lina Hou’s website): “I'm trained as a sign linguist with an interdisciplinary background in child language acquisition, linguistic ethnography, and documentary linguistics. Previously, I was a University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellow at University of California, San Diego, in the Communication Department from 2016 to 2018. My mentor was Carol Padden, the Dean of the Social Sciences of UCSD. I received my Ph.D in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin in 2016. My adviser was Richard P. Meier and my co-adviser was Angela Nonaka.”
Pronouns: she/her/hers, they/them/theirs
On names: “In presentations and publications, I go by Lynn Hou, but in my social circles, I go by Lina. I find that it's easier for non-native English speakers to pronounce Lina.
My surname is pronounced like [hɔʊ] in standard Mandarin Chinese, but it is pronounced [hoʊ] in English in the U.S. and often mispronounced as [hu] or [haʊ]. My Chinese name is 侯詠絮 (transliterated as Hou Yong-Shi).
In American Sign Language (ASL), my name sign is one-handed version of 'laugh.' It is also fingerspelled, as it is custom with short names among deaf ASL signers.”