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A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences

ISSN 1736-7514 (electronic)  ISSN 1406-0922 (print)
Published since 1997

A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences

ISSN 1736-7514 (electronic)  ISSN 1406-0922 (print)
Published since 1997

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(Full article in PDF format) DOI: 10.3176/tr.2012.4.03


Engin Arik


Much evidence points to the conclusion that temporal concepts are drawn primarily from the conceptualization of space. Sign languages provide a particularly suitable area for observing such a relationship since they employ a three-dimensional signing space as a major building block for articulation. This paper addresses spatial and temporal language in Turkish Sign Language (TID), which has a full-fledged grammar and a natural language used by the deaf community in Turkey. It investigates descriptions of static and dynamic spatial situations and expressions of time. Results showed mismatches between the axial information in the stimuli and the use of left-right and front-back axes in the signing space. Furthermore, results also showed that the temporal language did not always correlate with the deictic use of the front-back axis. Thus, these findings suggest that temporal language may only partially be derived from spatial language.


space, time, iconicity, Turkish Sign Language.


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