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Empirical Methods in Language Studies

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Edited By Krzysztof Kosecki and Janusz Badio

«Empirical Methods in Language Studies» presents 22 papers employing a broad range of empirical methods in the analysis of various aspects of language and communication. The individual texts offer contributions to the description of conceptual strategies, syntax, semantics, non-verbal communication, language learning, discourse, and literature.
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Comprehension of metaphor-based non-literality in signed languages by the hearing persons

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Abstract: The ability of the hearing persons to understand the form-meaning relation of non-literal signs may be a factor contributing to mastering signed communication (Pizzuto, Boyes-Braem, & Volterra 1996; Grote & Linz 2003). In an anonymous experiment aimed to test it, the pupils of two Łódź grammar-schools were asked to comment on the relation between form and meaning of metaphor-based signs from three unrelated languages: American, British, and Polish. Each of the seven stimulus-based tasks involved signs based on various conceptual metaphors. The results showed the understanding of the motivation for the form-meaning continuum to be dependent upon sign iconicity, knowledge of the meanings of gestures, the complexity of the conceptual metaphors involved, and age.

Keywords: gesture, iconicity, metaphor, motivation, signed language.

1. Introduction

On August 19th 2011, the Polish Parliament passed the Bill on Sign Language and Other Means of Communication in order to implement the EU regulations into the Polish legal system. The law came into force on April 1st 2012. Its major purpose was to facilitate the normal functioning of the deaf people in the society by training sign language translators and increasing the availability of sign language courses.

The term Sign Language means Signed Polish (System Językowo-Migowy/SJM) – a system taught for public purposes, different from Polish Sign Language (Polski Język Migowy/PJM). SJM has many structural affinities with phonic Polish, but shares many signs with PJM. ← 53 | 54 →

2. Signed languages: non-literality

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