15.7 Non-manual

English Notes
BSL Video
Non-manual refers to facial expression, which may be “negative”, this is a very broad term and includes what is happening with the eye-brows, nose and mouth.  The facial expression may range from being very strong to very mild, depending on the strength of feeling in the signer and the social situation. Facial expression alone cannot negate.

Head movement may be a movement back or a shaking of the head, depending on the situation.  A half-head turn with a special “negating” sign or the same handshape with a head-shake mean different things (E.g. REJECT and YOU’RE-WRONG!”)
Head shaking alone can negate an utterance.

Manual signs can show specific aspects of negation. For example, a hand waving accompanied by a head-shake can mean NO, or the sign NOTHING with a head-shake. Similarly, NMFs may be accompanied by manual signs for NOT, NEVER, NONE, NOBODY, DON’T!, STOP IT, ABSOLUTELY NOT. English uses specific morphemes such as ‘Un…’, ‘De…’, ‘Non…’, ‘Dis…’ as prefixes that express negatives.

Some BSL examples such as LIKE/DON’T LIKE, AGREE/DISAGREE, REMEMBER/DON’T REMEMBER-ME would be different in English.  In English it would be ‘Remember/forget’ whereas BSL would be REMEMBER/DON’T REMEMBER-ME.  Negations such as CAN’T, WON’T, SHOULDN’T, MUSTN’T are formed in English by adding the negative at the end of the word.  For example ‘can’ becomes ‘can’t’ by adding a ‘t’ at the end of the word, whereas in BSL these are two completely different signs CAN and CAN’T.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.