A student writes:
During linguistics class you mentioned something to the effect that
"articulation" was "had to do with moving one's lips and tongue" yet
it seems like the term "enunciation" would fit that definition too.
Do they both play a role?
-- Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
The word "articulate" (and articulation) has many different
A general meaning is "to explain or to make clear."
One interpretation of articulate means "skilled at speaking, a good
Sample sentence: "He is a very articulate speaker."
An equivalent of this in ASL would be, "HE/SHE SIGN-(skillfully),
SKILL, CLEAR HE" (nod)
Another meaning of "articulate" is: "to form words."
That is the meaning we have been using in our Linguistics class: "to
form words" (or signs, in our case).
"To articulate" a sign means to form your fingers into handshapes
and then move your hands and arms in certain ways.
Now, as far as
articulation, enunciation, and/or pronunciation are used in our
classroom discussions of "articulatory bundles" I would suggest the
following lines of thought:
Pronounce: A very general term meaning to speak a word or produce a
Pronunciation: The "right way" to say a word or do a sign. How the
sign should be produced.
Enunciation: A more specific term that tends to include the concept
of clearly saying a word. I don't use this term when referring to
the signing of ASL.
Articulation: When I use this term in class I'm referring to the the
physical act of producing a sign. The act of moving the hands,
fingers, arms, and body in specific ways.
To me, "articulation" as used in our ASL linguistics class is similar to
enunciation as used in an English.
If, in an ASL linguistics class someone asks "What is the
proper articulation of a sign?", that would be equivalent to
asking "how should a word be pronounced" in English, (and/or what is
the pronunciation of an English word).
-- Dr. Bill
This page is not meant to be an exhaustive discussion of
articulation. It simply applies to the use of "articulation"
as sometimes occurs in an ASL linguistics class.
The "articulation" of classes between two colleges is a completely
different topic and best understood by reviewing general "college
You can learn American Sign Language (ASL) online at American Sign Language University ™
ASL resources by Lifeprint.com © Dr. William Vicars
Dr. Bill's new iPhone "Fingerspelling Practice" app is
GET IT HERE!
NEW! Online "ASL Training Center!" (Premium Subscription Version of ASLU) **
CHECK IT OUT **
Also available: "ASLUniversity.com" (a mirror of Lifeprint.com
less traffic, fast access) **
VISIT NOW **