Schlenker, Philippe: 2014, Super Monsters (Parts I and
II). Manuscripts, Institut Jean-Nicod and New York
Schlenker, Philippe: 2014:
Super Monsters I: Attitude and Action Role Shift in Sign Language.
Abstract: In sign language
'Role Shift', the signer can adopt another person's perspective to
report a propositional attitude ('Attitude Role Shift') or an action
('Action Role Shift', often called 'Constructed Action'); this is
overtly marked by various means, such as a rotation of the signer's
body and/or eyegaze shift. This operation can be analyzed as an overt
instantiation of the 'monstrous' mechanism of 'context shift'
postulated for attitude reports in some spoken languages (Schlenker
2003, Anand and Nevins 2004, Anand 2006, Quer 2005). For Attitude Role
Shift, we argue that this analysis brings new light to the typology of
context-shifting operations: while some sign languages make it possible
to 'mix perspectives' under Role Shift (Quer 2005), we argue that ASL
and LSF obey the constraint that indexicals should 'shift together'
(Anand 2006). Still, in ASL and LSF, data from Attitude Role Shift
alone cannot fully exclude an alternative analysis based on quotation
without context shift. By contrast, Action Role Shift, which has no
known counterpart in spoken language, is not amenable to a quotational
analysis because it is used to describe actions that don't involve any
speech- or thought-acts; in that respect, the context-shifting
operations we find in sign language are 'super monsters' that can shift
the context outside of attitude reports. We develop a context-shifting
analysis that applies both to Attitude and to Action Role Shift.
(Shortcomings of this analysis are discussed in Part II, which extends
the theory with an 'iconic component' that addresses them.)
Schlenker, Philippe: 2014: Super
Monsters II: Role Shift, Iconicity and Quotation in Sign Language.
Abstract: While sign language 'Role Shift'
can be analyzed as an overt instance of context shift, we argue that it
has two broad properties that require a special treatment. First, Role
Shift used to report attitudes ('Attitude Role Shift') has a
quotational component which does not follow from a simple
context-shifting analysis. Second, Role Shift used to report other
actions ('Action Role Shift') has a strong iconic component:
properties of signs that can be assigned to the reported situation
(e.g. a happy face) must be so interpreted. We argue that both
varieties of Role Shift should be analyzed as context shift, but with
an important addition: the expressions that appear under Role Shift
should be interpreted maximally
iconically, i.e. so as to maximize the possibilities of
projection between the signs used and the situation they make reference
to (Role Shift is thus a 'super monster' not just in that it can shift
the context outside of attitude reports, as was argued in Part I, but
also in that it has an iconic and thus hyperintensional
component). This accounts both for the quotational character of
Attitude Role Shift (in this case, maximal iconicity reduces to
quotation), and for the fact that Action Role Shift has a strong iconic
component. Finally, this analysis vindicates the view that some
expressions may be simultaneously used and mentioned/demonstrated, as
argued for instance in Recanati 2001.