When Do I Fingerspell Essay

Submitted By Katieagarcia
Words: 452
Pages: 2

Languages are always evolving. When two languages co-exist in any community, the language of the majority culture may influence the language of the minority culture. One of the ways that
ASL is influenced by English is in the incorporation of certain fingerspelled words (lexical borrowing). FINGERSPELLING is used for FOUR SPECIFIC PURPOSES:
1. To refer to proper names – (names of people, titles, brand names, cities, states, places, etc.)
2. To transliterate English technical (or new) terms – (s-y-n-t-a-x) (new terms – perhaps until a sign is developed and accepted for the new term)
3. To emphasize something – (b-a-d, s-a-f-e)
4. To execute a *fingerspelled sign (j-o-b, c-l-u-b, b-u-s-y, b-a-c-k, etc.)
(*Fingerspelled “loan signs” are two to five letter combinations that have their own unique patterns of movement. The movement patterns are different from ordinary fingerspelling and some of the letters may even be deleted. The words have evolved into
ASL signs rather than fingerspelled words.)

TIPS for PRODUCING Fingerspelled Words
1. Keep your hand slightly to the right of your face (or left, if you are left-handed) and below the level of your chin.
2. Keep your elbow down, near your body, and your arm relaxed.
3. Work on the smooth flow of movement and the blend of handshapes from one letter to the next in the word as a whole.
4. Articulate/mouth/pronounce each word as a whole…do not mouth each individual letter.
5. Avoid bouncing/throwing/moving each letter…try to keep your hand steady and smooth and develop a rhythmic style.
6. Clarity is always more important than speed! Don’t try…