Non-manual realization of agreement in American Sign Language

Autor/a: BAHAN, Ben
Año: 1996
Editorial: Boston: Boston University, 1996
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


This dissertation explores the use of head tilt and eye gaze as non-manual grammatical correlates of syntactic agreement in American Sign Language (ASL).  While the non-manual grammatical markings characteristic of questions, negative clauses, topics, etc., have been studied, the syntactic functions of head tilt and eye gaze have received little attention in the literature. In ASL, one important and systematic use of specific locations in the signing space is expression of person features (phi-features). This is evident, for example, in the determiner system, pronominal reference, and manual marking of morphological subject and object verb-agreement.  Non-manually, these locations in space can be signaled by the head tilting or eyes gazing to these points in space. We argue here that one major function of head tilt and eye gaze is non-manual expression of syntactic agreement.