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“Compounds, Contractions and Conjunctions in American Sign Language” Brenda Aron.

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Presentation on theme: "“Compounds, Contractions and Conjunctions in American Sign Language” Brenda Aron."— Presentation transcript:

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2 “Compounds, Contractions and Conjunctions in American Sign Language” Brenda Aron

3 ASL Compounds ASL has several major ways of creating new signs. One way is by compounding, this process is also used in English but not in all spoken languages. A compound is created by combining two words or two signs (sometimes more) separate signs so that they become like one word or one sign with its own meaning:  English compounds: cupboard, blueprint etc.  ASL compounds: EAT^NOON, HOME^WORK

4 How Did This Occur? Changes over time, called assimilation where two signs become one:  BEAK ^ WINGS = BIRD;  SUMMER^GROW = SPRING;  BLACK^DARK = DARK  MONEY^GIVE-TO = BUY Fluidity:  FEMALE ^MARRY = WIFE;  EARRING ^YELLOW = GOLD  KNOW^CONTINUE = REMEMBER *also called anticipatory assimilation as the first part of the sign has anticipated the second part’s handshape and copied it.

5 How Did This Occur? Part 2 The opposite is called perseverative assimilation where the first part of the sign influences and changes the second part of the sign:  RED ^CL: C (2h) for round + slice = TOMATO;  EAT^BED = HOME Reduction:  CL: (2h) index rectangular for outline + CL: (2h) S-5 ZAP for MICROWAVE (oven);  GIRL^SERVE = WAITRESS also gender deletion to WAITPERSON

6 ASL Compound Nouns Compound Nouns: When noun is a person and there is a related verb i.e., *AGENT *made with two flat hands moving down the signer’s body  A. TEACH^AGENT = TEACHER  B. LEARN^AGENT = STUDENT  C. PREACH^AGENT = PREACHER, MINISTER  D. LEAD^AGENT = LEADER  E. ACT^AGENT = ACTOR  F. PLAY^AGENT = PLAYER  G. WRITE^AGENT = WRITER  H. SUPERVISE^AGENT = SUPERVISOR

7 ASL Compound Nouns Part 2 Not all ASL nouns have related verbs ex: MOTHER, DOCTOR, DENTIST, NURSE, BOSS, POLICEMAN, PRINCIPAL, PRESIDENT, etc. Not all nouns and verbs with related meanings have formationally-related signs in ASL  Ex: FISH vs. FISHING^AGENT = FISHER  AIRPLANE^AGENT = PILOT

8 Examples of Compounds in ASL BLUE ^CL: 5 on body for BRUISE BED ^SOFT (sign made near head) = PILLOW THINK^SAME-AS = just as if; it’s like; for example FACE ^STRONG = closely resemble; bear a strong resemblance FACE ^SAME-AS = look like, resemble THINK^EASY = you think it’s a piece of cake?; you think you are tough? THINK^TOUCH = obsess, to dwell on MONEY^BEHIND = money in reserve TRUE ^WORK = really mean it, I am serious about it, I am not kidding; it’s really important.. TALK^NAME = to talk about, mention FOOD^BUY = to go food/grocery shopping TOMORROW^MORNING "next day ALWAYS^SAME "forever”

9 More ASL Compounds GOOD ^ENOUGH = just barely adequate WRONG ^HAPPEN = accidentally; unexpectedly; coincidentally SLEEP ^CLOTHING = pajamas, nightgown SLEEP ^SUNRISE = oversleep; sleep in MOTHER ^FATHER = parents BROTHER ^SISTER = siblings JESUS ^BOOK = Christian Bible GOD ^BOOK = Bible (generic) NEVER ^HEAR = never heard of such a thing! FUNNY^NONE = that is no funny business; that is not funny THINK^ALIKE "agree“ THINK^OPPOSITE "disagree“ SICK^SPREAD "epidemic"

10 Video Examples of ASL Compounds A. What are ASL CompoundsASL Compounds – Check youtube for my examples

11 ASL Compounds Sentence Practice 1.I jumped onto the bed thinking I was landing on my pillow but it was a hard block of wood. Oh boy, have I got a bruise on my arm! 2.People think Ann and I resemble each other. I disagree however she and I do often think alike. 3.Joe said, “Stop obsessing about tomorrow’s math test, it will be a breeze”. Ron retorted, “you think that is a piece of cake?” 4.Jack mentioned to their friends and ribbing Ken about seeing an UFO, Ken insisted, It is true I am not kidding. I have pictures to prove it. 5.Bobbie plans to go grocery shopping the next day. 6.I was supposed to be at school at 8 am but overslept.

12 ASL Contractions As in English, contractions are a shortened form of two words for example:  English: can and not = can’t, she is to she’s But the meaning of the contraction is NOT different from the meaning of the two separate words when they occur together. Contractions are usually considered an informal version of the sign.

13 Listing of ASL Contractions  Formal vs. Informal Compounds: are really contractions as the meaning of the contraction is not different from the meaning of the two separate words when they occur together.  DON’T KNOW vs. DON’T v KNOW;  DON’T WANT vs. DON’T v WANT;  DON’T LIKE vs. DON’T v LIKE  More examples:  WHY NOT = WHY v NOT;  NOT HERE = NOT v HERE,  SEE NONE = SEE v NONE;  FEEL NONE = FEEL v NOTHING;  HEAR NONE = HEAR v NOTHING  HOW MUCH (S throw into 5 palm up)  NOT HAVE-TO (NOT-bent L palm out to flip down)

14 More ASL Contractions Some contractions are abbreviations of the signs. i.e.,  DO-DO? (What are you doing, or what will you do? )  FOR-FOR? (Whatever-for?, What is the meaning of this? or Why? )  THREE-OF-US (group numbering up to 5)

15 Video Example of ASL Contractions A. ASL ContractionsASL Contractions See youtube for Brenda’s examples

16 ASL Contraction Sentence Practice 1. I don’t know which you want, vanilla or chocolate ice cream. 2. You said you don’t like either so what do you want? 3. Oh you don’t like and don’t want ice cream. Ok, got it. 4. Why don’t we sit here at the park. 5. John, oh, he is not here. I have not seen him yet. 6. When I fell and broke my arm, I didn’t feel any pain. 7. I haven’t heard if Carlos passed his driver’s test. 8. How much are those oranges? 9. I don’t have to take a science class in the Spring, yay! 10. The three of us are going to Sue’s bridal shop tonight. Why? Oh, we are shopping for our prom dresses.

17 Conjunctions One of the features ASL shares with English is the use of conjunctions to join simple sentences. Many students can’t stop signing in English word order because they feel “wedded” to these conjunctions: i.e. and, but, because, although, however etc. Most of these are not ASL signs. ASL conjunctions are like those listed in the next slide.

18 ASL Conjunctions WRONG (without warning, suddenly) FRUSTRATE (to be prevented from) HIT (unexpectedly, turned out that) FIND (find out that) HAPPEN (happened that) WRONG [movement – Y twisted] (plans being messed up) FINISH (then, completed) THINK+APPEAR (remember, recall) “UNDERSTAND” (however, but, although)

19 ASL Conjunctions Part 2 Other ways to show conjunctions in ASL:  Listing on the hand  Contrastive structure (shoulder move slightly l-r or vice versa) * to denote “then” * to denote “then; or; groupings of objects or people” Ex: “Yesterday, I went skiing with Mary, John and Anna.” “Last Saturday, we went to the petting zoo. My daughter got to pet a baby monkey and a baby goat. “

20 ASL Conjunction Sentence Practice 1. ME WALK WRONG RAIN 2. ME PLAN PARTY FIND HE CAN’T COME-HERE 3. HE GO-AWAY VACATION 1-WEEK, HIT LAID-UP SICK 4. ME CHAT HAPPEN H E-TELL-ME HE FROM BAKERSFIELD SAME-AS-ME 5. TONIGHT TWO-OF-US WANT SEE MOVIE FRUSTRATE CLOSE 6. SHE STINK DRAMA WRONG GOOD ACT 7. HE STRUGGLE-HARD ESTABLISH NEW BUSINESS HIT SKYROCKET BUSINESS 8. TWO-OF-THEM STEADY 6-MONTH WRONG TWO-OF-THEM MARRY 9. SHE RESEARCH #ASL HIT SHE FIND NEW RULE DEBBIE GO-THERE STORE BUY #TTY HAPPEN #TTY SALE 11. BABY SEEM SICK FIND BABY HAVE EAR INFECTION 12. CLOTHES PUT-IN WASHING-MACHINE FRUSTRATE CLOTHES RUIN 13. ME BUY NEW GLASSES WRONG GLASSES DAMAGE 14. TWO-OF-US CHAT FIND TWO-OF-US SAME HAVE DEAF SISTERS 15. ME WATCH #TV WRONG #TV VAGUE 16. PAUL DRIVE-THERE FRUSTRATE FRIEND NOT HOME 17. BECKY GET NEW #CAR EXCITED FRUSTRATE #CAR STEAL 18. ALAN WILL HELP JOHN UNDERSTAND JOHN MUST PAY-TO ALAN LUNCH.

21 ASL Conjunctions Sentence Practice 1.I was reading the newspaper when out of the blue I remembered my appointment. 2.Last week I bought 5 beautiful flowers but they all died. 3.For the last 6 months I hadn’t called my friend. Yesterday I called and found out that she had moved to Nebraska. 4.In 1932, 300 Deaf people moved to Ohio. 5.Paul and Mary dated for 7 months when they broke up. 6.Last night I studied Lessons 6 & 7. Today I found out that the test was on Lessons 8 & 9! 7.Two weeks ago I went to a basketball tournament and found out that it was cancelled. 8.I was driving when suddenly a car came behind me and smashed into the back of my car. 9.I was sitting outside when unexpectedly it started to rain. 10.Last year my grandfather died then my grandmother died two months later. 11.I will go with you but I have to bring my kid brother along. 12.The four of us went shopping. I bought new running shoes, black slacks and a plaid shirt. 13.Did you know Joe and Jean are twins?

22 Conjunctions See youtube for Brenda’s video examples of conjunctions

23 Contact:


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