Lexical expression of time in Russian Sign Language
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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We studied lexical expressions of time in Russian Sign Language (RSL). We collected lexical signs describing a variety of time-related concepts produced by fifteen RSL signers from different regions. We then analyzed semantic, iconic, and morphological properties of these signs, as well as possible interaction between RSL and Russian in this domain. We found out that RSL has a large system of time-related lexemes of all common semantic types. Some of these signs are iconic (and involve metonymy and metaphor). Other signs are noniconic, and probably borrowed from Russian, as they involve initialization or assimilated fingerspelling sequences. Morphologically, many of the basic time-related signs are simple, but RSL also has a number of compounds in this domain. Finally, numeral incorporation is very common for lexical time expressions in RSL, although it is restricted by both lexical and phonological constraints.