Five Nonmanual Modifiers That Mitigate Requests and Rejections in American Sign Language

Autor/a: HOZA, Jack
Año: 2008
Editorial: Sign Language Studies, Vol. 8, nº 3 (2008) pp. 264-288
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


A notable difference between signed and spoken languages is the use of nonmanual linguistic signals that co-occur with the production of signs. These nonmanual signals involve primarily the face and upper torso and are an important feature of American Sign Language (ASL). They include grammatical markers that indicate syntactic categories such as yes-no/questions and wh-word questions, as well as nonmanual markers (NMMs) that function as adverbs and adjectives. The article describes the ways in which native ASL signers use five nonmanual markers to alter requests and rejections in different discourse contexts. It also argues for a linear ordering of these NMMs based on the degree to which each mitigates requests and rejections and concludes with a discussion of implications for linguistic studies, ASL instruction, and ASL/English interpretation.