Context in Sign | ASL Ponderings
September 6, 2019
Hello, I’m Rogan and welcome to a new ASL Ponderings! Today, I want to talk about context. I’ve noticed this is something that’s very common with ASL signers. As in English, ASL has many different ways of signing something. But also, ASL has many ways to sign the same word in English. For example, run. It can mean the physical action, running. Or a sink, water running from the faucet. Or more, different ways. This can be a problem in the ASL community when people don’t really think about how to sign something. Example: running joke. Many will sign it [running-physical] joke. But that doesn’t make sense because it’s not physical running. Some will sign it [running-motor] joke. [running-motor] is more for machines, a motor running. So… [running-continue] joke. Something like that. Another example: I’ve been meaning to ask. Many will sign “I’ve been [meaning-definition] to ask.” But that doesn’t work, because this is for definition of a word, not wanting to ask. So “I’ve been wanting to ask” is how it should be signed. Another example that’s very common: key, meaning important. Not key, like for a door. But many people will sign this: these are [key-door] points. [key-door] points doesn’t make sense. Because that’s for a door, [shows action of key in door]. So it really should be signed [key-important] points. Those are very basic. One word in English that is constantly “mis-signed” is make. This word…has many definitions in English. Many will apply a sign wrong. I’ll give you a few examples. Make, the first thing that comes to mind is [make-create]. Like creating, make art. I make art. I make you do your homework. [make-force], make you. [pah], made it, [pah]. By a hair, made it by a hair. Many people will sign this one like [make-create] it by a hair. [make-create] it, no you don’t make it. You [made-arrive] it, [made-arrive] by a hair. [make-create] money. No, you [make-earn] money. [make-earn] money. I’m sure there are more examples for this word, “make.” But that’s one common thing I see many people misapplying a sign to. I will do it myself too, I sometimes mis-sign and catch myself, back up then re-sign it right to match the concept. Really, I just want to encourage ASL signers to try and be more aware of how you sign things, like [made-create] it. Not that, [made-arrive] it, [pah] it. And I guess that’s all for today. BUT my next ASL Ponderings — I did question whether I should include it in this one or should I separate it and make another video. So I typed a basic outline for this, and I was looking at it. Yeah, I’m making a separate video. Because this has more in-depth analysis of a word, etymology, and such. So I decided it’d be better to hold that and make another video. So this is a little short today, but that’s fine. Sure! Hope you enjoyed this video, and let me know about any ASL concepts you want me to discuss. Or maybe something you’re curious about, don’t understand about ASL, or whatever. Let me know of anything else you want to know about, anything. And I will be in the comments. Don’t forget, I have Patreon and ko-fi, linked below. Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all linked below. And… Thanks for watching, see you next time.