3 Non-manual Features of BSL

English Notes
BSL Video

Non-manual Features of BSL

When learning BSL it is important that you pay close attention to the non-manual behaviour of your teacher and other Deaf people. You will be looking for meaning from the movements of the hands and also from movements of the head, shoulders, eyebrows, mouth, cheeks, changes in eye gaze, body shift and so on. All of these features have a use in BSL grammar. For example, they can show differences in the types of sentences or questions and can be used to describe manner (how an action is done, whether with ease, effort, concentration or whatever). Facial expressions and body posture are also used to add emotional tone to statements, descriptions and stories.

Learning how to read these meanings and use your own face and body to express similar meanings will be part of the challenge of mastering BSL.



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