Lexical nonmanuals in German Sign Language (DGS): An empirical and theoretical investigation

PENDZICH, Nina-Kristin



In sign languages, the smallest phonological units are largely simultaneously articulated and perceived. In addition to the manual components of signs, nonmanual markings and mouthings may be part of certain signs. Although various studies on lexical mouth patterns and mouthings in different sign languages exist, until now there is no consensus about the exact status of lexical nonmanuals. A broad empirical and theoretical analysis of all lexical nonmanual markers is still a desideratum. Consequently, the investigation of the relevance of muscular contractions in the lower and upper face as well as actions of the head and torso on the lexical level was the starting point of this thesis. One important aspect of this investigation was the disctintion between emotional, gestural, lexical and grammatical nonmanuals. Based on three empirical studies on DGS, the thesis focuses on the analysis of lexical nonmanuals and the implementation of an adequate theoretical approach.

Sign Language and Linguistics Vol. 21, nº 1 (2018) pp. 163–171

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