Abstract

Contrary to popular assumptions, American Sign Language is not simply a manual language, and the signer's face does much more than show emotions. A review of the major findings of linguistic research on the nonmanual components of ASL shows that the signer's face, head, torso, and eyegaze have important linguistic roles. The author's study illustrates how different combinations of facial and head movements signal different kinds of questions: yes-no, wh-, and rhetorical. Awareness of these nonmanual signals may help teachers communicate their questions more effectively to students and understand their students' questions better. Learning how to distinguish linguistic facial behaviors from affective facial behaviors may also help teachers avoid misunderstandings.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0375
Print ISSN
0002-726X
Pages
pp. 297-304
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-22
Open Access
No
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