Thursday, February 26, 1998 at 06:26:19

You've made something annoying sound, um, interesting! Good luck! Have you looked at any comparitive research in sign languages? Just curious.

- JC

While filled pauses are to many an annoying intrusion in spontaneous speech, I find them fascinating (or maybe its just wishful thinking because I use them so excessively, myself...!)

I confess I had not considered how hesitation is rendered in sign language. The church where I attend has a special program for the deaf so I might ask some to find out about it, or at least discreetly observe their communication.  Taking a wild guess, I will hypothesize that they may signal hesitation with a very clear "I'm thinking" gesture, say, head slightly tilted, eyes looking upward, and hand on chin.  What do you think?

Actually, filled pauses in American Sign Language (I'm not sure about other sign languages) is more like hand suspended about chest level, wiggling a little, eyes scrunched. I have some references somewhere (Masters in American Sign Language from Gallaudet Univ.) but I'm not at home. Try _Sign Language Studies._ If you have a chance to observe people signers, I recommend it!

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