Motivated sign formation in Hieroglyphic Egyptian and German Sign Language (DGS). Towards a typology of iconic signs in visual linguistic systems

Citation:

Eliese-Sophia Lincke and Silvia Kutscher. 2012. “Motivated sign formation in Hieroglyphic Egyptian and German Sign Language (DGS). Towards a typology of iconic signs in visual linguistic systems.” In Lexical Semantics in Ancient Egyptian, edited by Eitan Grossman, St\´ephane Polis, and Jean Winand, Pp. 113 – 140. Hamburg: Widmaier. Copy at http://www.tinyurl.com/sojuv99

Abstract:

In Spoken Egyptian, the form of a linguistic sign is restricted by rules of root structure and consonant compatibility as well as word-formation patterns. Hieroglyphic Egyptian, however, displays additional principles of sign formation. Iconicity is one of the crucial features of a part of its sign inventory. In this article, hieroglyphic iconicity will be investigated by means of a preliminary comparative typology originally developed for German Sign Language (Kutscher 2010). The authors argue that patterns found in Egyptian hieroglyphic sign formation are systematically comparable to patterns of German Sign Language (DGS). These patterns determine what types of lexical meaning can be inferred from iconic linguistic signs.