This article discusses a study of the relationship between movements of the head and the torso in Finnish Sign Language (FinSL). It describes the differences and similarities in the articulation of these two body parts in FinSL narratives, and discusses the status and relationship of the head and the torso as articulators in sign languages. The study reveals that, in FinSL narratives, the head is clearly more active than the torso. When both the torso and the head moved, almost half of the co-occurrences were found to be simple combinations of codirectional movements, while slightly more than half of the co- occurrences were semicomplex or complex combinations with differences in the direction of the movements. Most of the co- occurring torso and head movements shared the same function, regardless of the degree of complexity of the combination. However, differences in the functions of torso and head movements were found to increase as the complexity of the combined movements grew.


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pp. 175-214
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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