Hi again... sorry to bother you twice in the same mail run, but I'm not finding the sign for "TRY" on your pages nor on [the other site I looked at]... SO! I need your personal opinion.
My ABC/ASL text shows this sign with two "S" hands... The ASL dictionary shows "T" hands and a third resource shows "A" hands (which looks too much like a double handed "ANY").
I asked Walt (my [Deaf] husband and role model) and he uses "T" as I do yet I realize this is also the initialized version of the older ASL sign, but is that any different than using the initials for groups ("TEAM", "FAMILY", etc)
And for the base older version of "try" would it be with "S" or "A" hands?
You ask if initializing "TRY" is any
different from using the initials for groups such as "TEAM," "FAMILY," etc.
Yes, I think there is a difference. As you know, language changes over time. Such changes generally start small and spread. If enough people adopt the change it becomes part of the language. Some changes start spreading and then "die out." Some changes spread amongst part of the community (age group, geographical location, social status) but never gain widespread acceptance.
I used to think of people who resisted change as "purists" longing for the good old days of "true" ASL who approached ASL instruction in a "prescriptive" manner rather than a descriptive one. I've changed my thinking on this topic. I now realize that it is our job as ASL instructors to teach A-S-L, not "neologisms, protologisms, and slang." Such items may be cool and/or eventually become ASL but until they are ASL they should not be taught in ASL programs. While I think that there are many signs that are legitimately initialized such as "YELLOW," "HOSPITAL," and "GOVERNMENT" I think that as instructors it is best to be on the conservative side.
You asked which would be the "base" or "older" version of TRY. I'm pretty sure it is the "S" version.
* I asked Byron Cantrell (Deaf, Deaf School/Georgia, Deaf wife, long-time ASL instructor) and he was very much committed to signing TRY with "S" handshapes. He also felt that all of the various versions of TRY (attempt, strive, etc.) should be done with "S" handshapes with the exception of "EFFORT" which he felt should be signed with "E" handshapes.
* I asked Lauren Smith (Deaf, Deaf School, long-time ASL instructor) and she immediately showed the "S" handshape version.
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