Mouth Actions in Colombian Sign Language

A Study of Non-Manual Markers in Sports Communication Among Deaf Participants


  • Xiomara Getrouw Leiden University Master Latin American Studies


Colombian Sign Language, Mouth Actions, Non-Manual Markers, Deaf Sports, Deaf Athletes


This study explores the interaction of facial expressions in Colombian Sign Language (CSL) among deaf participants within selected sports domains. Previous studies on sports vocabulary in CSL did not consider the contribution of facial expressions (non-manual markers), which contribute to the linguistics of sign languages. Drawing inspiration from previous work,1 of the study specifically explores how facial expressions in CSL facilitate the communication of sports-related vocabulary and expressions. The research data from secondary sources consists of videos within sports domains. The findings unveil the presence of 10 Mouth Actions as Non-Manual Markers in CSL. These makers involved lip movements, tongue actions, cheek puffing, and mouth configurations, serving syntactic and semantic functions. The study enriches our understanding of how Mouth Actions enhance the linguistic dimensions of CSL. These insights hold significance for CSL users, offering avenues to improve communication in sports-related contexts.


[1] Cortés and Barreto, “Variación Sociolingüística,” 149.