Five Parameters of Sign Language

Location:

  • The location(s) of the body at which the sign is made.

Movement:

  • The way in which the sign moves when it is being made. It can be done through a path (i.e hands moving to a specific target), local movement at the hand, or movement at the fingers.There are also cases where these movements can combine.

Handshape:

  • The configuration of the hand that is determined by the number of fingers used and how the fingers form the shape. This may change during a sign.

Orientation:

  • The direction in which the palm is facing with relation to the body.​

Non-manual Signals (NMS):

  • Grammatical and semantic features of sign language beyond that made by the hands. It can include features such as mouthing, facial expression and head tilting, which add meaning to the sign.