La Categoria Verb en la Llengua de Signes Catalana (LSC)

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


This thesis focuses on the identification and description of the category verb (V) in Catalan Sign Language (LSC). The research has been developed within the Borer’s theoretical framework (basically 2005a and 2005b), which has provided an approach to LSC different from the one typically found in previous descriptive studies. We describe the Lexical Functors (FL) and Functional Functors (FF) that we have identified for the category V in LSC in the corpus of our study. Following other investigations in sign languages, the present study starts with an analysis of a set of name-verb pairs in LSC, and we identify their morphophonological differences. At this level of morphophonological differences we distinguish two FL that assign an eventive structure to the root and identify it as V-equivalent. We also analyse the set of FF ( and independent f-morph) that may cause morphophonological changes in the verbalized root and contribute to identifying the category V. In this sense, the Functional Projections that are described in this thesis on the category V in LSC are: Agreement, Aspect, Manner and Quantity. Concerning Agreement, we analyse Person Agreement, Spatial Agreement and Number Agreement in LSC from a syntactic perspective. In contrast to most studies on Agreement in signed languages, we highlight the role of location as a part of the of the Person Agreement Functional Projection, even in roots classified as ‘plain roots’. We show that there is a hierarchical order that reflects Agreement with arguments and that depends on different syntactic structures. With respect to Aspect, we argue that ‘telicity’ and ‘atelicity’ are defined as Quantity, according to Borer (2005a,b), and that Aspect is built in syntax. Concerning the two FL identified for verbal roots, we show that one of them (FL1) assigns non-quantity eventive information to the verbalized root and the other (FL2#) a quantity one. We argue that this lexical eventive information is not crucial in syntax, first, because it can be modified, and, second, because verbalized roots can appear in different syntactic contexts, no matter which is its initial morphophonologycal information. Finally, in this study we show the need of a Manner Functional Projection and a Quantity Functional Projection (different from FL) to identify the category V in LSC. They both force a number of morphophonological changes in the V-equivalent roots and, consequently, they help to identify the category V. For each of them, we describe the relevant found in the corpus we have analysed, their different morphophonological realizations and the restrictions they may have.
Date of Award16 Jul 2015
Original languageCatalan
SupervisorM. Teresa Espinal Faré (Director) & Josep Quer Villanueva (Director)


  • Verbal category
  • LSC
  • Sign language

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