Edited By Małgorzata Fabiszak, Karolina Krawczak and Katarzyna Rokoszewska
Metaphors and Metonymies of Emotions in THree Unrelated Signed Languages
The paper argues that signs for emotions in American Sign Language/ASL, British Sign Language/BSL, and Polish Sign Language/PSL employ the articulatory parameter of location on the chest as the source domain of the ontological metaphor THE BODY/THE CHEST IS A CONTAINER FOR THE EMOTIONS (Lakoff 1987: 383; Kövecses 2002: 184; Taub 2001: 127–135). The parameters of hand-shape, motion, orientation, mimics, and posture serve as source domains of metaphors or vehicles of metonymies which interact with the dominant ontological metaphor. The complex conceptual patterns underlying the emotion signs reflect their psychophysiological motivation.
1. Introduction: Signed Languages
Signed languages are complex spatial-visual systems of communication used by the deaf. They communicate by means of signs produced by hands, body posture, and mimics. The meanings of the signs depend on cheremes, that is, contrasts between the articulation parameters of shape, location, motion, and orientation of the hands (Stokoe 1960; Wilcox 2008: 1114f.). For example, the three American Sign Language/ASL signs for ‘train’, ‘tape’, and ‘chair’ have the same hand-shape, location, and orientation, but differ with respect to motion (Poizner et al. 2003: 3).
The relations between signed languages reflect educational factors rather than the genetic criteria. ASL, for example, was strongly influenced by French Sign Language/FSL because the first American schools for the deaf were organized by the French (Wilcox 2000: 157). That is why it is unrelated to British Sign Language/BSL and largely unintelligible to its users (Crystal 2007: 161). Polish Sign...
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