The "Y" handshape is often used to represent things that are very wide.
It is also used to represent things that typically have a handle
and/or are typically poured.
The mouth of a hippopotamus
A fat person walking
Liquid being poured, especially gravy or syrup.
A pitcher being held and/or poured
Alcohol being swigged
The sign for
is a lexicalized classifier.
It is a regular sign that obviously got its start by people using "Y" hands
to show the opening of a very big mouth.
But suppose you wanted to show a hippo "yawning?"
You could use
a yawning facial expression and
"Y" hands and to show the mouth movement of the hippo:
You can use a palm down "Y" handshape to show the waddle of an obese
person. While moving the hand forward, twist the sign so that thumb and
pinkie alternate pointing downward:
An interesting sign that is related to CL:Y is a version of the sign
"how-TALL?" This sign uses two vertical "Y" hands (thumbs touch
twice) along with a furrowed brow ("WH"-type question expression).
You can learn
American Sign Language (ASL) online at American Sign Language University ™
ASL resources by Lifeprint.com © Dr. William Vicars