Ces séminaires se dérouleront les jeudis 9, 16 et 23 mai et le mercredi 29 mai de 15h00 à 17h00 à l’université Paris Diderot – bâtiment Olympe de Gouges – 8, rue Albert Einstein – 75013 Paris – Salle 134.
Abstract Although verb agreement has occupied a prominent place in sign language research from the very beginning, it is far from clear how its idiosyncrasies vis-àvis spoken language agreement systems should be properly analysed and integrated into a general theory of the language faculty. In these seminars we will review the properties of agreement systems in the visual-gestural modality, relying on cross-linguistic evidence, as well as existing approaches to agreement phenomena in sign languages. We will evaluate them critically both for their own merits and shortcomings and with respect to prevailing views of agreement in spoken languages. Some alternatives to the received views on this topic will be discussed. We will bring into the discussion the study of sign language auxiliaries and evidence from acquisition research. We will also dwell on some syntactic consequences of sign language agreement for sentence structure and for the licensing of null arguments.
Schedule Thursday 09/05/19 – Properties of agreement systems in sign languages Introduction to the main properties of sign language structure. Verb classes and verbal agreement in SLs: particular and non-particular characteristics and the impact of modality.
Thursday 16/05/19 – The role of deixis in sign language agreement Referential locus as agreement controller. Grammar vs. gesture debate in the characterization of sign language agreement. Syntactics vs. locative agreement.
Thursday 23/05/19 – Agreement quirks Agreement auxiliaries. Backward agreement. Non-manual agreement.
Wednesday 29/05/19 – Syntactic approaches to agreement in sign languages Effects of agreement on syntactic structure. Syntactic accounts of agreement in sign languages. Relation of argument-drop with agreement.
Preparatory reading Lillo-Martin, Diane & Meier, Richard P. 2011. On the Linguistic Status of ‘Agreement’ in Sign Languages. Theoretical Linguistics 37, 95-141.