How to express plural in Catalan Sign Language
Catalan Sign Language uses five basic ways to express singular or plural forms:
1. Free morphemes
Plural may be expressed through an additional sign or with the use of a number, which comes after the noun.
Examples of additional signs are:
Examples of numeral signs are:
2. Reduplication (repetition)
Some signs may be pluralised by way of repetition, by moving the sign laterally along a horizontal plane. The sign is often repeated three times, but that does not mean that we mean three times, as it could refer to more times than this.
For example: “This year I only have three subjects”
3. Numerical incorporation
This consists in incorporating the configuration of a number sign into another sign, which could be a pronoun or a sign that indicates a time unit (like “hour”, “week” or “year”).
● “They four”
● “They” (generic plural, without incorporation)
With time units:
● “Two weeks”
● “Six months”
Enumerations serve to express a list of different objects. It is articulated with the non-dominant hand and the palm facing the signer, with the fingers outstretched. This sign is also used to represent the four weeks of a month.
5. Non-manual markers
Non-manual markers provide information regarding quantity to express degree.
● Small quantity: stick the tip of the tongue out, raise the eyebrows and shoulders
● Large quantity: puff the cheeks
If you’re interested in learning more about expressing numbers in LSC, you should have a look at the theory and examples that appear in the Number section of the Basic Grammar of LSC.
Content: Barberà, Gemma (2010) Language: Catalan sign language (LSC) [academic notes]. UPFMoodle
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