American Sign Language (ASL) describes spatial information(e.g., shapes, configurations, movement and location of figures inspace) through a productive system of iconic ``classifier'' predicates.Many lexical items denoting concrete objects or actions are derived fromthe classifier system; many lexical items and non-lexicalizeddescriptions of abstract objects or actions are derived from theclassifier system as well, through metaphorical mappings from thespatial domain to abstract domains. Starting from the ASL data, thispaper presents an ``analogue-building'' model of the creation of iconicforms, which can cover spoken-language as well as sign-languageiconicity, and a ``double mapping'' analysis of metaphorical iconicity.The double mapping analysis is supported by the existence of signs thatshare a metaphorical mapping but not an iconic mapping. The data andanalyses presented here underscore the importance of space inconceptualizing non-spatial domains.
Spatial Cognition and Computation – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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