Modification of indicating verbs in British Sign Language: A corpus-based study

Jordan Fenlon, Adam Schembri, Kearsy Cormier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
331 Downloads (Pure)


Indicating verbs can be directed towards locations in space associated with their arguments. The primary debate about these verbs is whether this directionality is akin to grammatical agreement or whether it represents a fusion of both morphemic and gestural elements. To move the debate forward, more empirical evidence is needed. We consider linguistic and social factors in 1436 indicating verb tokens from the BSL Corpus. Results reveal that modification is not obligatory and that patient modification is conditioned by several factors such as constructed action. We argue that our results provide some support for the claim that indicating verbs represent a fusion of morphemic and gestural elements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-118
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Taken from AAM - (Expected for publication 2018, check for updates before citing.)


  • agreement
  • directional
  • person
  • constructed action
  • role shift
  • gesture
  • deixis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics


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