In a message dated 2/11/2005 3:37:07 PM Pacific Standard Time, Jandpcott@cinci.rr.com writes:
Dear Dr. Vicars,
I came across your web address while searching for ASL signs. I am in hopes
that you can help me.
I am attempting to teach my 20 month old son sign language to promote his
severely delayed speech and so that we can communicate. Do you know of a
comprehensive dictionary for use with children? Through internet and
dictionary searches, I have yet to find signs for yogurt or block (noun).
As a beginner trying to put together a 'dictionary' for my son, I am
You will be hard pressed to find one dictionary with "all the signs" in it.
Some concepts like "yogurt" are not widely established in ASL and are spelled or described.
Some people invent signs for such concepts, but often these "invented" signs are not accepted by the Deaf Community. Or at least, not yet. Like any living language, ASL acquires new vocabulary as time goes on.
For example, you can sign "yogurt" like you do ice-cream but instead of an "S" hand use a "Y" hand. While some Deaf are open minded about that idea (initializing the sign "ice-cream" to mean yogurt), many others will reject it immediately and state that it should be fingerspelled. Perhaps later it will become accepted by the majority if and when enough people use the sign that it would be difficult to claim it is not a sign.
The sign "block" would use the sign "box" and an indication of the size of the block. After it is established in context you can use just the sign "box" to mean blocks.
Visit your local library and check out an armload full of dictionaries and videos.
Realize though that the best ASL dictionary is a living breathing member of the Deaf Community.
Make friends with Deaf people and invite them over. You can ask them how to sign things.
American Sign Language University ™ ASL resources by Lifeprint.com © Dr. William Vicars