ASL Lessons | Bookstore | Library | ASL University Main ►

Deaf gain (or "Deaf-gain")

Discussion:  In the comments section of the Vocabulary Expansion Series (13) video (on Youtube) an ASL hero asked the following question about "Deaf gain." 

QUESTION: For “deaf gain" -- DEAF would drop one movement. Correct?"

RESPONSE: I would suggest that if you were giving a lecture on Deaf-gain or introducing Deaf-gain as a conversation topic that upon first usage it would be good to sign what we might think of as the "full version" (or citation version) of "DEAF." Then as the conversation progresses it is indeed very likely that the "DEAF" portion of the "Deaf-gain" sign will reduce to one contact point and smoothly transition to the BENEFIT sign -- thus effectively becoming one sign.

Think of it as this progression:

Eventually we will see more and more signers indeed just start discussions of Deaf gain by signing DEAFGAIN (rather than DEAF GAIN). It is possible that we may even see authors (of English) using the format / spelling "deafgain" rather than "Deaf gain" or "Deaf-gain." (Similar to how "google" became a lowercase word.)

Consider the progression of email in written English:
In the early days it progressed through versions:
electronic mail

Compare DEAF-GAIN with the ASL signed concept for "Deaf Community."
Very often you will see people sign DEAF with the double contact followed by a version of CITY.
Then later you will see that same person and their audience warm up and drop the second movement of DEAF and do a "very" abbreviated / efficient version of CITY.

Eventually though versions of words and signs "do" become archaic. For example, regarding the concept of "electronic mail" we could say with relative confidence that at this point in time the word "email" is generally regarded as correct and the term "electronic mail" is generally regarded as archaic.

So let's stay a bit flexible in regard to what we attach that "correct" (or incorrect) label.

I think it would be (and is) good for ASL students to know both the citation version and the (currently considered) casual version in their "wheelhouse" of signs.

As a result of your question though I will add the one-contact-version of DEAF (as applied to the DEAFGAIN sign) to my list for video recording. Eventually it will make it onto a DEAFGAIN page at Lifeprint. (Gotta start somewhere if we are going to get anywhere.)

So, thanks!
Warm regards.



Notes regarding how to sign "yyy":



*  Want to help support ASL University?  It's easy
DONATE  (Thanks!)

Another way to help is to buy something from Dr. Bill's "Bookstore."

Want even more ASL resources?  Visit the "ASL Training Center!"  (Subscription Extension of ASLU)  

*  Also check out Dr. Bill's channel:

You can learn American Sign Language (ASL) online at American Sign Language University ™ 
ASL resources by  ©  Dr. William Vicars