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Title: Point of view in narrative discourse : a comparison of British sign language and spoken English
Author: Earis, Helen
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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Expressing the point of view of a character and marking changes in point of view (POV) are key aspects of narrative discourse. The concept of POV has been discussed in the literature in various contexts, including deixis, logophoricity and subjectivity. A variety of linguistic and non-linguistic devices are used to indicate a particular POV, including nominal and pronominal reference, and facial expressions and intonation. Spoken languages can mark changes in POV using strategies such as direct and indirect discourse, the former coupled with optional paralinguistic cues such as intonation, whereas signed languages can mark changes in POV in a unique way using referential shift. Referential shift is a common device in sign language narrative discourse, where the signer 'becomes' a referent by taking on one or more attributes of that referent, such as facial expression and/or body position (Loew, 1984). Within a referential shift construction, verbs and pronouns which are marked for first person refer to the referent being portrayed rather than the signer. This study examines how point of view is marked in three fables, each told by native users of British Sign Language (BSL) and native speakers of English, and explores how the strategies used by signers and speakers can be explained by theories of conceptual spaces, such as that suggested by Liddell (2003a) for signed languages and Ehlich (1979, 1985) for spoken languages.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available