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Negation in Turkish Sign Language

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This paper presents a detailed description of manual and nonmanual markers (NMMs) in negative sentences in Turkish Sign Language (TİD). It has been argued that TİD has a manual dominant pattern for negation with a backward head tilt being the major NMM in negative sentences. By contrast, in this paper I argue that, when it comes to negation, TİD is not a strictly manual dominant language. I will consider spreading of NMMs such as headshake, brow-lowering, and brow-raising and argue that these spreading NMMs play a syntactic role in TİD negative sentences. They mark the syntactic domain of negation, either through c-command, a spec-head-relation or both. In addition, I offer a generative analysis of the syntax of negation in TİD based on the syntactic background provided for TİD and the distributional patterns of NMMs.
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Keywords: Turkish Sign Language (TID); head tilt; negation; spreading; syntax

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 11, 2011

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