The relationship between spontaneous gestures of the hearing and American Sign Language
Abstract:This paper presents evidence of non-manual gestures in American Sign Language (ASL). The types of gestures identified are identical to non-manual, spontaneous gestures used by hearing non-signers which suggests that the gestures co-occurring with ASL signs are borrowings from hearing culture. A comparison of direct quotes in ASL with spontaneous movements of hearing non-signers suggests a history of borrowing and eventual grammaticization in ASL of features previously thought to be unique to signed languages.
The electronic edition of this article includes audio-visial data.