multiple faces, changing eye gaze

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Thu Jul 12 18:35:49 UTC 2007

On Jul 12, 2007, at 11:05 AM, Bill Reese wrote:
> In English, we might say "As she was opening the box she turned to  
> the audience with an expression that said, "Look!"."   Are we into  
> grammar here?  Could a sign conceivably have "grammatical space"  
> where things like this could be put?  For instance, could the face  
> be smaller to give it a certain meaning?  Also, in English we use  
> words like "as", "while", "after", etc. to give a meaning of time.   
> These words have no meaning apart from the rest of the sentence.   
> Could signwriting do the same?  Do we have a sign for "as" that  
> could be used with the face to indicate that one look, not  
> associated with the sign itself is being given during the sign?   
> Could we even give meaning to the expression so that we could put  
> the face apart from the rest of the sign, perhaps a bit smaller  
> with the sign for "look!" in parenthesis next to the face?

Hello Bill!
Thanks so much for responding to this interesting question of  
changing eyegaze and head direction...

I believe you are making the interesting suggestion, that when she  
turns to the audience (as the narrator) that that motion, of looking  
at the reader to say "look at that" could have a standard way to be  
written that everyone would understand?

That is a very interesting idea!

I was wondering if the last head turn was necessary at all...but if  
it is, then maybe it is really another sign, establishing the  
previous sign as important...almost like an emphasis, like "look at  
that" maybe that is a part of ASL grammar...I do not know and we  
will have to ask some linguists!

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