BORING.docx - Summarized by Aini Mutiah Sabrina BORING Its...

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Summarized by: Aini Mutiah Sabrina BORING: It’s anything but Barbara Shaffer 1. Introduction and Scope This paper portrays the semantic polysemy associated with a set of variants of the word BORING in American Sign Language (ASL). This paper states that each variant illustrates a semantic extension of the word BORING. Although each variant is very distinct from each other both phonologically and semantically, it still has some of the form and function of the source word. This paper also describes the interaction between the expression of speaker subjectivity, information ordering and clausal scope in ASL and the various uses of BORING. It also discusses about the role of iconicity in the polysemy of BORING. 2. Cognitive Linguistics A fundamental tenet of Cognitive Linguistics is that grammar is inherently meaningful. Speakers construe every events and situations differently according to their own purposes. These construal differences are marked with various morphological, lexical, syntactic and discourse levels, which often leads to polysemy. Tuggy notes that “(i) Polysemy is rampant; (ii) polysemous meanings are related in multiple, reasonable, even systematic ways; (iii) context is necessary for establishing and maintenance of these meanings and for choice among them; (iv) yet this does not warrant a deterministic account of those meanings such as might allow them to be omitted from the theoretical lexicon because of their relation to more basic meanings or to context. The meanings are neither arbitrary nor inevitable with respect to each other and to context; they are only reasonable (Tuggy 2003: 324). A careful consideration of polysemy can tell us much about the nature and the change in meaning, in a given language. The ASL word commonly glossed BORING has several phonological variants as well as a number of distinct discourse functions. While the source lexeme is an adjective and its scope is limited to the noun phrase, several of the variants have clausal scope, and refer to the speaker’s attitude toward the proposition as a whole. 3. Dataset The data for this study were collected from two main sources. The first data were collected from commercially produced video tapes with several criteria. First, all materials were designed to illustrate ASL as native signers use it. Second, with one exception, each had at least two discourse participants seated in clear view of each other.
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Third, every material specifically describes that it contains spontaneous, unrehearsed conversations in American Sign Language. The next main source of data was gathered from the insights of two deaf consultants. The consultants were chosen based on the following criteria: a) each considers ASL to be his or her first language; b) each acquired ASL from Deaf parents; c) each identifies him or herself as a Deaf member of the Deaf community; d) each is considered by other members of the Deaf community to be generally representative of typical, culturally appropriate ASL signers.
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