13.9 Morphological Information

English Notes
BSL Video

Morphological Information

Nouns, adjectives and verbs have visually motivated mouth gestures to add morphological information. This has a strong visual motivation. The mouthing gesture is relevant to what is being signed, for example 'a tall narrow house'. This mouthing gesture (shown) means 'NARROW'. The same can be seen when talking about a wall, "IT’S A HIGH WALL" and 'HIGH' matches the mouth gesture (shown). Mouth gestures modify verbs, nouns and adjectives. Sometimes the lip pattern may look the same but gives a different meaning. For example; 'NARROW' or I may sign 'RIDING A MOTORBIKE', here the mouth gesture means "CAREFUL", so you can see the lip pattern is the same but the meaning is different. There are a variety of mouthing gestures such as 'OO', 'EE', 'MM', 'SHH'. There are many.


I will give you some mouth gestures and I want you to think of signs that would match those mouth gestures.

  • OO
  • EE
  • MM
  • SHH

Get the Flash Player to see this player.