Non-manual Focus Markers in Turkish Sign Language

Aslı Gürer, Serpil Karabuklu


Sign languages use syntactic (fronting, doubling, clefting), manual manipulations (variation in size, length, speed, repetition), and nonmanual markers (head and eyebrow movements) to mark focus. Due to their simultaneous nature, they are well-known for using these strategies together. In this study, we examined how the focus is marked in Turkish Sign Language (TİD) in free conversations and elicited data. Both studies’ most observed nonmanual markers are head nod and eyebrow raise. We propose that these nonmanual markers are not pure focus markers since they can cooccur with focus and topic in the structures. Yet, due to information structure, they are the marker of the phonological or intonational phrases. Furthermore, the duration of focal signs could be the marker of focus, which needs further investigation.


focus, nonmanual markers, Turkish Sign Language (TİD)

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Copyright (c) 2023 Aslı Gürer, Serpil Karabuklu

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