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.

bcfi-z = know
bc = bent-B handshape
hand at forehead height  f = forehead height
i = palm in
-z = move hand onto body (to forehead)  hand on forehead

vafqdzi-ay = doubt
va = V handshape
hand at forehead height f = forehead height
qd = slightly down from height (to eyes) hand at eye height
z = on body (close to eye) hand on right eye
i = palm in
-a = bend fingers
y = repeat action (straighten then bend again)

lanquzsvy = mouse
la = 1 handshape
n = neck / chin height hand at neck / chin height
qu = slightly up from height (to nose) hand at nose height
z = on body (to nose) hand on nose
s = palm base-side
v = move in palm facing direction (base-side)
y = repeat action (come back then move again)

bcnzsv = lie
bc = bent-B handshape
hand at neck / chin height n = neck / chin height
z = on body (to chin) hand on neck / chin
s = palm base-side
v = move in palm facing direction (base-side)

benqihivl-bc = in the past
be = open-B handshape
hand at neck / chin height n = neck / chin height
qi = slightly in from height (beside the cheek)
hi = palm in
v = move in palm facing direction (in)
l-bc = change handshape to bent-B

beu-sgi = here
be = open-B handshape
(presumed chest height)
u = palm up
-s = move base-side
gi = move circling in

fars-udy = judge
fa = F handshape
(presumed chest height)
rs = base-hand palm wide-side, wide-hand palm base-side (palms facing)
-ud = base-hand up, wide-hand down (move hands past each other)
y = repeat action

lars-td = correct / right
la = 1 handshape
(presumed chest height)
rs = base-hand palm wide-side, wide-hand palm base-side (palms facing)
-td = touch down onto base-hand

lbzi-s = we / us
lb = bent-1 handshape
(presumed chest height)
z = on body (to chest)
i = palm in
-s = move left

bcquhii-zzq bcnoo-sr = angel
bc = bent-B handshape
(presumed chest height)
qu = slightly up from height (to shoulder)
hii = both palms in
-zz = move both hands onto body (to shoulder)
q = compound word

bc = bent-B handshape
hand at neck / chin height n = neck / chin height
oo = both palms out
-sr = base-hand move base-side, wide-hand move wide-side (move hands apart)

cbqeuhi-z = power
cb = claw-5 handshape
hand at elbow height qe = at elbow
u = slightly up from height (to upper arm)
hi = palm in
-z = move onto body (to upper arm)

baqezd-dy = autumn / fall
ba = B handshape
hand at elbow heightqe = at elbow
z = on body (to elbow) hand on elbow
d = palm down
-d = move down
y = repeat action

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