from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Communication by means of a manual alphabet.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The practice of representing the letters of the alphabet using just the hands to spell out words.
- n. Any system for representing the letters of the alphabet using just the hands.
- n. A representation of the spelling of a word using just the hands.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an alphabet of manual signs
Sorry, no etymologies found.
In the 1960s, linguists began to understand that far from being mere pantomime or fingerspelling, ASL is a highly evolved language with a syntax entirely different from any spoken language.3
People were kind, friendly, and patient, but I hated to impose my blank looks, my need for painfully slow fingerspelling, my ignorance of whole swaths of essential vocabulary.
I looked up startled that he was signing at me and then he made the sign for fingerspelling.
I distracted myself by fingerspelling words on trucks and keeping my memory limber for numbers by doing the occasional license plate.
Stokoe notation was created by William Stokoe for ASL in 1960, with Latin letters and numbers used for the shapes they have in fingerspelling, and iconic glyphs to transcribe the position, movement, and orientation of the hands.
A grand mal is a "wham bam and 'no thank you' ma'am" which leaves me fingerspelling upon waking, "Where is that truck which hit me?"
The title comes from Mary Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim's lethal parody "The Boy From ..." (which has been hilariously translated into American Sign Language — fingerspelling the name of the town every time must bring down the house). posted by Matthew @ 9: 44 AM
One was fingerspelling B-A-T-T-E-R-Y, which only works if your client understands the English term - about which more later - the next was HURT, which probably requires some context to establish what kind of hurting's being done but clearly doesn't mean kill, and the last was a compound of HURT~ACCUSE.
In fact, the advantage of ASL in this respect is that it can't really get away with borrowing from Latin or Norman French to create legal vocabulary - unless you're just flat-out fingerspelling everything.
There is an amazing amount of information here, including a library full of topical essays on things like deaf culture and how to meet deaf people; a fingerspelling tool/tutorial; baby's first 100 signs, and much more.
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