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Iconicity and Arbitrariness in Italian Sign Language

Abstract : I present the results of a quantitative analysis that evaluates the incidence of iconicity of a sign language, LIS, in its lexicon. This analys shows that iconicity is highly incident. On the one hand, I interpret this high incidence of iconicity as a response to a need for economy. On the other hand, I argue that the high incidence of iconicity does not rule out the possibility that a profound arbitrariness governs the lexical organization of the language in view of the fact that arbitrariness is a necessary response to a need for economy. In order to justify the coexistence of iconicity and arbitrariness in the LIS lexicon, I suggest that we revisit the notion of arbitrariness, echoing Saussure's original formulation of arbitrariness.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00667627
Contributor : Paola Pietrandrea <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - 9:46:01 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 3:46:02 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-00667627, version 1

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Paola Pietrandrea. Iconicity and Arbitrariness in Italian Sign Language. Sign Language Studies, Gallaudet University Press, 2002, pp.296-321. ⟨hal-00667627⟩

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