Hi Dr. Vicars,
Fabulous site! Thanks so much for maintaining it, and for going into the level
of detail you do.
I've taken the opportunity of having a new (hearing) baby
to indulge my lifelong interest in ASL, which I've only studied on and off
previously. Comparative linguistics and dance are two of my major passions, so
I'm loving having a great excuse to devote more time to learning more ASL.
Anyway, a specific question: when you get a chance could
you address the various signs for "gentle"? I've seen number of different ones
and am wondering which are more broadly accepted or if there are subtle
differences in meaning that I am missing. Variants I've seen include: stroking
the back of the nd hand with the d hand, rotating two bent B-hands around each
other, gently "patting" downward twice in front of you with both hands in
relaxed 5, a double downward swipe off the chin with the upgoing fingertips of
the d hand, etc. I'd love to hear your take on the differences/usage here.
Thanks again for all you do.
- Suzie Snyder
See below for my thoughts on each of those versions.
-- Dr. Bill
Version: Stroking the back of the non-dominant hand with
the dominant hand.
Notes: That is the sign "PET." If you do the sign for "PET"
in a careful/gentle manner it can be interpreted as "pet the animal gently."
Version: Rotating two bent B-hands around each other.
Notes: That is the sign for "KINDNESS" as in "be kind to
other people" or "she is a kind person."
Version: Gently "patting" downward twice in front of you
with both hands in relaxed 5
Notes: That is the sign for "calm down" or "Whoa, easy does
it." If talking about the ocean it could refer to the waves being gentle. If you
pat downward and then move it slightly sideways and pat downward again it
becomes the sign for "EASYGOING" or "take it easy." It can also mean that a
person is "down to earth."
Version: A double downward swipe off the chin with the
upgoing fingertips of the d hand, etc.
Notes: That is the sign for "SWEET" and when applied to a
person's personality it can mean that he or she is a "sweet person."