You have heard about body language. But have you heard of it partnering with language signing? American Sign Language involves a lot of spelling out words with the hands. However, some readers of sign language may find the finger spelling distracting and eventually lose track of the message.
Incorporating visual description into signing means using facial features such as the eyebrows and the mouth to enhance sign language sense, which can make signing more efficient and effective.
- Position of your hands is very important in ASL. Signs have different meanings depending on where you sign them. Signs done near the top of the head have a different meaning than the same signs done near your chin.
- Where you point and where your palms are positioned is important to ASL meaning.
- Mouth position is important in ASL. Some deaf signers make a loud “Poough” for emphasis or to get people’s attention.
“The way ASL works is quite different. For example, the WH- question words tend to be at the end of a sentence. Rather than ‘What’s your name?’ it’s ‘Your name what?’ ”