13.6 Mouthing Gestures

English Notes
BSL Video

Mouthing Gestures

Mouth gestures have a variety of uses and are possibly the most important part of sign language. The Citation Form has many elements; one is enacting or sometimes called mouth forms or M4M for short. This is visually motivated, the mouthing having a connection with an action such as ‘HOLDING-BREATH’, ‘YAWNING’, ‘PUT-ON-LIPSTICK’, ‘BLOW’. Other signs can have a connection to the mouth e.g. ‘KISS, ‘CHEW’, ‘BARK’ or ‘BITE’! Parallel hand mouth movements relate to multi-channel signs. Most but not all of these multi-channel signs are used when interrupting, to show a feeling for example; when told a story, the listener can show their feeling or thought, ‘WOW-REALLY’. The movement of the mouth changes to match the hands/sign for example ‘REALLY’. One Scottish example is, ‘REALLY’. Other examples include, ‘BRILLIANT’, ‘CAN’T-BE-BOTHERED’, ‘GOBSMACKED’.


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