Directing Conversations

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Sentences discuss actions.  There are actors that do actions.  There are objects to which or with which the action is done.  
English uses the word "that" to describe the scene around the actors.  ASL often separates out the scene before describing the action.

English: He used the car that has red wheels.
ASL-Gloss: (ls) The car; (lsd) it has red wheels.  (lr) He (ls) gets in the car and drives off.

ASL sets up a 3-dimensional scene like a puppet show.  Actors and objects are identified by their location.  The signer's body shifts "stepping into" the next actor.  When finished, the signer's body returns to face the audience.

English: He is pleased with your work.
ASL-Gloss: Your work (ls) he said: "Well done."
ASLSJ: Beo-o sndo-tdy 's lns-o lnpi-my: "Ces-my qy."

Here we see the main object is YOUR WORK "beo-o sndo-tdy".  The "'s" eye word places the HIM (lns-o) actor at stage-left.  The "qy" head nod means the statement is true.


Sometimes a word or phrase is intentionally slowed down or sped up for effect.  For example, changing the pace of a cow walking can show how really slowly the cow is moving.  Changing the pace of an acrobat on a flying trapeze can emphasize how really fast the acrobat is flipping.  Prefixing these phrases with "qs" or "qf" indicates a difference in speed from the standard conversation.

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