Ryan Lepic @ryanlepic starts his keynote on ASL usage-based morphology and "sign schemas" in ASL by talking about how what he read as a graduate student shaped his identity and thinking about ASL linguistics #HDLS14
Lepic reminds us that SL Ling has a "structural problem," where we think everything is built out of building blocks and form neat categories that are well defined. But these questions miss variation and context common in SLs. We need a diff approach: usage-based cxg #HDLS14
Lepic: Here are five signs. People point out that these signs all start in the same place of articulation and also carry with them a feminine meaning. But this is the exception, not the rule. What we are seeing is not a morphological rule but a sign schema. #HDLS14
Lepic's point here reminds us that these assumed areas of linguistics (phonology, morphology) don't always work so well when looking at signed langs. Sign parts don't have their own meanings but meaning is extracted from families of signs #HDLS14
Lepic shares an example of a viral video where ASL signers were asked to create signs for English internet words like photobomb and selfie, and this sparked a lot of conversation. We see a network structure of form-meaning pairs across signers, which provides motivation #HDLS14
New signs, Lepic argues, are potentiated from established sign constructional networks, what one would expect from a usage-based approach. We have a pattern that is entrenched already, and we aren't building up but stretching what we know to new contexts. #HDLS14
(This is me talking, not me citing Ryan, but this is like a perfect introduction to usage-based lx,. From a speaker not signer's perspective, seeing how usage-based principles works in ASL reminds us of how a few principles of usage-based cxg can cover a lot of ground #HDLS14)
Lepic looks at collocational data in ASL: words come together for specific functions, which, again, reminds us that thinking of language learning from usage and pattern recognition/ sign schemas gives us different segmentations of units (eg. bring-in-interpreter). #HDLS14
Sorry, the second image linked above is a critique of some of the Construction Grammar-y Langackerian work coming out of Europe and Australia on Sign Language Linguistics from a usage-based/ Cognitive Grammar approach. Gist of critique: Do we really need all of this? #HDLS14
Lepic spends some time to analyze the sign for "rope" to show how the /r/ handshape maybe represents 1) a braided shape or 2) fingerspelling of the ENGL letter R. We can think of these as 2 handshape schemas that show up in different signs, too, & see that Rope has both. #HDLS14
(This was a very interesting and enlightening talk! Thank you, @ryanlepic )

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More from @world_on_a_wire

20 Nov
Excited for this keynote with the awesome Barbara Dancygier on viewpoint and multimodality #HDLS14
Dancygier asks how meaning is constructed multimodally--constructions, metonymy, image schemas, etc.--but at the same time, there's a need for a concept to bring all these concepts together, and viewpoint is perhaps that. Barbara shouts out future work with @alnellus #HDLS14
Dancygier clarifies: viewpoint doesn't need to be "someone's" viewpoint; she broadens viewpoint to understand it as a way to analyze conceptual alignment--which is necessary for being able to connect various non-visual phenomena (emotion, stance, etc.) in a larger network #HDLS14
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