Altitude Attitude

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Native ASL signers tend to make their signs less stressful on their bodies by avoiding twisting their wrists or using their shoulders.  This can make it harder to recognize certain signs.  Some people call this "lazy signing," but such compromises are necessary when you use your arms to communicate ideas.  A living language undergoes change.

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The majority of ASL words have one or both hands in front of the chest.  Though any location within reach is possible to use in conversation, most words are located near the forehead, neck / chin, chest, or elbow.


_ffff W_\M
__ll          . [+] = know

_ffff = bent-B handshape

hand at forehead height  W_\M = forehead height

__ll = palm in

. [+] = move hand onto body (to forehead)  hand on forehead



clulnn W_\Mv  cfufnn
__ll  [+]         . Z      = doubt

clulnn = V handshape

hand at forehead height W_\M = forehead height

   W/_Mv = slightly down from height (to eyes) hand at eye height

. cfufnn = change to bent-V handshape
[+] = on body (close to eye) hand on right eye

__ll = palm in

Z = repeat action (straighten then bend again)



clnnn (/^_)
\l\     [+]    . q< Z = mouse

clnnn = 1 handshape
(_\) = neck / chin height hand at neck / chin height
   (/_)^ = slightly up from height (to nose) hand at nose height

[+] = on body (to nose) hand on nose

\l\ = palm nondom-side

. q< = move in palm facing direction (nondom-side)

Z = repeat action (come back then move again)



cffff (_\)
\l\   [+] . q< = lie

cffff = bent-B handshape

hand at neck / chin height (_\) = neck / chin height

[+] = on body (to chin) hand on neck / chin

\l\ = palm nondom-side

. q< = move in palm facing direction (nondom-side)



_llll  (_\)qv . _ffff
__ll            . qv    = in the past

_llll = open-B handshape

hand at neck / chin height (_\) = neck / chin height
   (_\)qv = slightly in from height (beside the cheek)

_ffff = change handshape to bent-B

__ll = palm in

. qv = move in



_llll
\_ll\ . q<)qv = here

_llll = open-B handshape

(presumed chest height)

\_ll\ = palm up

. q<)qv = move nondom-side circling in



A \fulull
S \f\      . iv ZS = judge


A \fulull = F handshape

(presumed chest height)

S \f\ = nondom-hand palm dominant-side, dominant-hand palm nondom-side (palms facing)

. iv = nondom-hand up, dominant-hand down (move hands past each other)

ZS = repeat action switching hands



A clnnn
S \l\     . #iv = correct / right

A clnnn = 1 handshape

(presumed chest height)

S \l\ = nondom-hand palm dominant-side, dominant-hand palm nondom-side (palms facing)

. #iv = touch down onto nondom-hand



cfnnn
__ll  [+] . <-- = we / us

cfnnn = bent-1 handshape

(presumed chest height)

[+] = on body (to chest)

__ll = palm in

. q< = move left



A _ffff =_\=^ .         A _ffff
A __ll           . [+] Y  A  l__l . S q> = angel

A _ffff = bent-B handshape

(presumed chest height)

=_\=^ = slightly up from height (to shoulder)


A __ll = both palms in

. [+] = move both hands onto body (to shoulder)

Y = compound word

A _ffff = bent-B handshape

(presumed chest height)

A l__l = both palms out

S q> = nondom-hand move nondom-side, dominant-hand move dominant-side (move hands apart)



\ufufuff \\_-^
__ll              . [+] = power

\ufufuff = claw-5 handshape

hand at elbow height \\_- = at elbow
   \\_-^ = slightly up from height (to upper arm)

__ll = palm in

. [+] = move onto body (to upper arm)



cllll  \\_-
\__\ [+] . iv Z = autumn / fall


cllll = B handshape

hand at elbow height\\_- = at elbow
[+] = on body (to elbow) hand on elbow

\__\ = palm down

. iv = move toward palm facing direction

Z = repeat action

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