The interaction between surrogates and tokens in American Sign Language
Speakers of American Sign Language use surrogates and tokens throughout their discourse. Surrogates allow signers to shift roles (or perspectives) and “become” a character or other entity in their discourse. Tokens allow them to miniaturize entities and bring them into a smaller signing space. Scott Liddell claims that surrogates and tokens cannot interact or converse with one another. He states that because surrogates are in the “here and now” and tokens are not, they are unable to interact with each other. He also claims that surrogates and tokens are unable to enter each other’s signing spaces. In this research project, I explore examples that show otherwise. I have found examples where surrogates and tokens would be able to converse with one another, should the need arise. I have also found examples of tokens entering surrogate space, giving them the “here and now” feature Liddell says they do not possess.