The complex structure of ‘simple’ signs in NGT
The complex structure of ‘simple’ signs in NGT. In J. Van Koppen, E. Thrift, E. Van der Torre, & M. Zimmermann (Eds.
), Proceedings of ConSole IX
In this paper, I argue that components in a set of simple signs in Nederlandse Gebarentaal (also called Sign Language of the Netherlands; henceforth: NGT), i.e. hand configuration (including orientation), movement and place of articulation, can also have morphological status. Evidence for this is provided by: firstly, the fact that handshape, orientation, movement and place of articulation show regular meaningful patterns in signs, which patterns also occur in newly formed signs, and secondly, the gradual change of formerly noninflecting
predicates into inflectional predicates. The morphological complexity of signs can best be accounted for in autosegmental morphological templates.