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The Kata Kolok pointing system: Morphemization and syntactic integration

De Vos, C. (2015). The Kata Kolok pointing system: Morphemization and syntactic integration. Topics in Cognitive Science, 7(1), 150-168. doi:10.1111/tops.12124.
Signed utterances are densely packed with pointing signs, reaching a frequency of one in six signs in spontaneous conversations (de Vos, 2012; Johnston, 2013a; Morford & MacFarlane, 2003). These pointing signs attain a wide range of functions and are formally highly diversified. Based on corpus analysis of spontaneous pointing signs in Kata Kolok, a rural signing variety of Bali, this paper argues that the full meaning potentials of pointing signs come about through the integration of a varied set of linguistic and extralinguistic cues. Taking this hybrid nature of point- ing phenomena into account, it is argued that pointing signs may become an intrinsic aspect of sign language grammars through two mechanisms: morphemization and syntactic integration. Although not entailed in this research, this approach could implicate that some highly systema- tized pointing systems of speaking communities may to a degree be grammatical as well.

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