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We investigate the various ways that space can be used to indicate the quantity or size of the domain across various structures in sign (verbs, quantifiers, pronouns). This is an international investigation, pulling together data from Japanese Sign Language, American Sign Language, and Nicaraguan Sign Language.

We compare and contrast the results of this use of space to those used by hearing, non-signing gesturers in each of those countries/cultures to understand the elements of spatial productions that may be universal (given general human cognition) vs. those that are language- or culture-specific.

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The semantics of space in Sign and Gesture

Felicia Williams

Kenneth De Haan

202-250-2043

202-448-7067

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