2010 | 1(9) | 65-77
Article title

O kategorii zaimka osobowego w polskim języku migowym (pjm)

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On the category of personal pronouns in Polish Sign Language
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Polish Sign Language is an understudied natural sign language used by the Deaf community in Poland. The aim of the present paper is to discuss the grammatical properties of the word class of personal pro-nouns in that language. One of the most characteristic typological features of sign languages around the world is a close relationship between indexical pointing and pronominality. The focus of attention of this paper is on PSL constructions containing the so -called pointing sign (an index handshape directed to a point in the signing space). We argue that the indexical should be viewed as a lexicalized linguistic element, rather than a mere gesture. The pointing sign is a pronoun but, unlike its counterparts in spoken languages, it is not associated with person features. The only formal feature associated with the pointing sign is that of referentiality. The sign in question enters into a matching relation with the context (the sign-ing space), thus being provided with a semantic value. Therefore, the signing space becomes a kind of grammatical feature, unparalleled in spoken languages.
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  • Instytut Głuchoniemych im. Jakuba Falkowskiego, Warszawa
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