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asl classifier b

introducing classifiers in sign language

introducing classifiers in sign language

Classifier in sign language is a signed word that represents a particular group of objects or referents. A classifier handshape may be incorporated with a movement, palm orientation, and/or location to convey rich information in a predicate.

There is no ASL without classifiers. Classifier predicates in ASL are very common and heavily used. Learning and understanding classifiers can significantly improve your expressive language skills.

The ASL speaker first signs the noun and then the classifier predicate. She did first for the book. But for the rest of the objects, she didn't repeat the noun TABLE because she has established the reference and consistently refers to it. This gives you the idea how different classifiers are used for these objects.

The handshape looks like this image above but its palm orientation is horizontal, not upright. This classifier may represent a group of pieces such as an animal, chair, a toilet, a rocking chair, a sitting person, etc.

The signer begins with the ASL word table [left image] and then assigns it a pronominal classifier (palm faced down) for the table. Notice that the signer uses the passive hand for the classifier because she uses the dominant hand for the next noun (cat).

Or, "... lying down on the table". The signer has changed the palm orientation of the classifier to represent a lying-down cat. If she lowers her eyelids at the same time she signs "lying down", it means the "the cat is sleeping on the table."

Learn and use classifiers in sentences as much as you can. The more you understand and comfortably use them, the more you enjoy this language. It also can significantly improve your expressive skills. ASL is vibrant and rich with classifiers.

Sign language on this site is the authenticity of culturally Deaf people and codas who speak ASL and other signed languages as their first language. This site creator is an ASL instructor and native signer who expresses love and passion for our sign language and culture [...]

classifiers: a list of cl handshapes

classifiers: a list of cl handshapes

CL:B (thumb not inside like B but closed together with fingers, thumb sometimes open, sometimes inside) - book, table, desk, surface, wall, door, window, picture, car (in some contexts), bookcase shelf, paper, foot ...

Sign language on this site is the authenticity of culturally Deaf people and codas who speak ASL and other signed languages as their first language. This site creator is an ASL instructor and native signer who expresses love and passion for our sign language and culture [...]

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