Chapter 7

The size of signing space

Research on a broad range of DCSLs suggests, that the signs are articulated on or in front of the body, in the area between the waist and the head. This area is called “signing space” (Klima & Bellugi, 1979, p. 51) and is typically extended vertically from the waist to the space above the signer’s head and transversely from elbow to elbow when both arms are kept loosely bent as depicted in Figure 50.

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Figure 50. Signing space in DCSLs

Shared sign languages, on the other hand, are known to extend beyond signing space described above and use a much larger signing space (Nyst, 2012). The signing space in sign ...

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