Non-manual signals or NMS for short (also, non-manual markers or NMMs) are grammatical and semantic features other than hands. They include mouth morphemes, eye gazes, facial expressions, body shifting, and head tilting.
ASL sign for NMS.
Non-manual signals are used to modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. They also convey grammatical information such as topicalization, sentence types (wh-question, rh-question, yes/no question, etc.), etc.
In phonology, NMS is one of the five parameters in a sign. A sign or signed word consists of the five smallest units of language called parameters: handshape, movement, location, palm orientation, and non-manual signal.
Some signs require NMs in order to be produced correctly. For example, the signs LATE and NOT-YET both have the same handshape, movement, location, and palm orientation. But, they have a different non-manual marker.
Related posts: mouth morphemes.
Phonology: NMS parameter.
New to sign language? "Where do I start?" or "How do I start learning sign language?" This ASL Rookie guide lists some selected links to the tutorials for ASL beginners to get started and keep rolling. It may be a useful review for intermediate-level learners and ASL students as well.
Some tutorial pages are a mix of free and premium versions. Access to premium content and links below are available in the PatronPlus subscription. More links/posts will be added from time to time.
Are you able to carry everyday conversations in ASL? Are you a student in the intermediate levels and beyond, who wishes to boost up your signing skills? You've come to the selected tutorial series. (Some premium content are available to PatronPlus membership.)
This documentation project follows a child's language acquisition, literacy development, and phonological acquisition in sign language, specifically ASL, from newborn to age five in a natural native-ASL environment and visual culture.