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Doubling of the number of hands as a resource for the expression of meaning intensification in Brazilian Sign Language (Libras)


Sign language
Doubling; number of hands
Meaning intensification

How to Cite

Nogueira Xavier A. Doubling of the number of hands as a resource for the expression of meaning intensification in Brazilian Sign Language (Libras). J. of Speech Sci. [Internet]. 2021 Feb. 5 [cited 2023 Jun. 9];3(1):169-81. Available from:


Signs, the lexical items of signed languages, can be articulatorily characterized as one or two-handed (Klima and Bellugi, 1979). It has been observed in the signed language literature that some one-handed signs can undergo doubling of manual articulator to express meaning intensification (Johnston and Schembri, 1999). This work reports the results of an experiment designed and carried out (1) to elicit intensified forms of some signs of Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) and (2) to check the extent to which the doubling of the number of hands in signs typically produced with only one hand is employed as a resource for expressing the intensification of their meaning. The analysis of the data obtained revealed that subjects were consistent in changing their facial and body expressions as well as the aspects of their hands’ movement when producing the intensified forms of a sign. However, the same did not seem to hold true about the doubling of the number of hands in one-handed signs for the same purpose. Out of 12 deaf subjects, users of Libras, only 6 produced a few one-handed sign with two hands when intensifying their meaning and mostly not for the same sign.


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Copyright (c) 2013 A. N. Xavier


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