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Journal Of Cultural Cognitive Science


Sign languages exhibit the drive for ease of articulation found in spoken languages, particularly in fast and casual conversation, where the methods that reduce effort are shown here to be limited by the need to maintain recognizability. Participatory dance, which uses the same articulators as sign languages plus additional ones, also demonstrates methods of reducing biomechanical effort, analogous to those seen in sign languages, and, again, limited by the need to maintain recognizability of the dance figures/phrases. However, when we look at performance language (here, sign poetry) and performance dance, we find a contrast: sign language poetry uses reduced and enhanced forms, while performance dance does not use reduced forms but often uses enhanced forms. We attribute this contrast to the different functions of the different types of language and dance, with attention to the notion of intention in performance dance.


Dance, Sign languages, Biomechanical effort, Recognizability, Articulation

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.