Part One continued...
Previous Page

TABLE 4. Occurrences of PE by Syntactic Category
Number of
Number of
Noun 1 1
Verb 99 25
-Plain verb 76 17
-Indicating verb 2 2
-Classifier predicate 3 1
-Adverbial predicate 18 5
Other (adj., adv., prep., special) 0 0




When the sign VARIOUS occurred with PE, it was also used as a predicate. Specifically, it occurred at the end of a listing of verbal predicates in place of a complete predicate. For example, it occurred in the following sentence:

STUDENT INVOLVE WITH SIGN. SIGN-SONG, SIGN-CHOIR, VARIOUS. "The student was involved with sign language. He would sign songs, sign choir songs, and sign various things."

Thus, the occurrences of VARIOUS were also considered verbal units. The only occurrence of PE with a lexeme other than a verb was during the sign DOLL. The sentence in which this occurred was:


Clearly DOLL acts as a noun in this context. Because there was only one occurrence of this sign in the data, I cannot determine whether Helen always signs DOLL with pinky extension. I suspect that PE for DOLL has become lexicalized for this signer so that it is always signed with PE. ff so, it would be similar to YESTERDAY and KID, where PE has become lexicalized. These cases are not really instances of the PE variation process observed in the data whereby there is variation in PE if the requisite constraints are satisfied.


The level of intimacy also seemed to play a role in the occurrence of PE. When Helen signed with her longtime friend, PE began occurring in Helen's first extended turn. When Helen signed with the graduate student with whom she was only superficially acquainted, the first occurrence of PE was not until 2.o minutes after the beginning of the conversation. The overall frequency of PE with the friend was higher than with the ac- quaintance (i.e., 2.9 tokens in 29 bar-code increments as opposed to 26 tokens in 37 bar-code increments). The lexemes with which PE occurred were also more diverse with the friend than with the acquaintance.

Next Page

Order This Book

Back to the Book