In a message dated 9/15/2005 11:53:26 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
Is there somewhere I could find a list of inflecting and
non-inflecting verbs? Thank you.
Well, first of all I think we are going to need to specify what kind of
"inflection" your are talking about. "Inflecting" a sign simply means
to modify or change the sign. I'm scratching my head to think of ANY
sign (verb or not) that can't be inflected in some way.
I think you might be wanting a list verbs that can be inflected (changed) to
indicate the subject and/or object of the sentence. This
is called "verb agreement."
So, what you may be seeking is a list of "agreement verbs" and a list of
verbs which do not show "agreement."
Verbs can indicate the subject or object of a sentence by inflecting the
palm orientation (which direction your palm is pointing), the location of
the sign, or both.
Note: Just because a verb isn't typically modified to show subject/verb
agreement, that doesn't mean that you can't modify the verb in other ways.
For example, the sign LIKE can be inflected to mean "don't like" by
reversing the orientation. This still doesn't establish who is the
subject or what is the object, but it does change the meaning of the sign
LIKE to the opposite.
In a message dated 9/15/2005 2:12:27 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
Yes, I see we're discussing "agreement verbs". My
books use the terms "inflecting verbs", or
"directional verbs" vs. plain verbs--same thing. My
question is whether anyone has compiled a
comprehensive list of agreement verbs that I could
access. When I was learning French, I found it helpful
to study a list of irregular verbs, as a learning
tool. Wondered if there's something similar out there
for ASL. Thanks!
I haven't seen a "comprehensive list."
Your emails to me may eventually be of great benefit to future learners
though because I will keep this in mind for any future curriculum
Plus, just because I haven't seen one doesn't mean that there isn't a
dictionary out there that doesn't have that information. I'll keep my
Below is the beginnings of a list. If people want to contribute, feel
free to send me your lists and I'll add them.
(and many more)
(and many more)
Spatial / Locative Verbs:
[Where you do the sign indicates
where the action is taking place. For example if I do the sign
PUT up high, then that means that something is being placed in a
high area. If I do the sign #HURT (lexicalized fingerspelling)
near my elbow it would me my elbow hurts.]
In a message dated 6/23/2007 5:30:56 AM Pacific Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
Is the sign EXAMPLE directional? I mean
if i started it away from me and brought it towards me then would it mean "You show/give me an example"? Or is it not
directional and only moves away from the body and only means "example"? The reason I ask is because EXAMPLE is an
initialized form of SHOW, so I was wondering if the same "usage rules" applied to initialized forms of words.
The word "show" is a verb. You can establish "verb agreement" via "directionality." That means you can modify the
movement of the sign "SHOW" to indicate who is showing what to whom.
The word "example" is a noun thus we do
not have the same freedom to employ directionality that we would with a verb.
"Example" is somewhat of a special case
though because it does have a rare "verb" form: "exemplify."
So, technically, you could construct a sentence along the lines of, "Would you mind exemplifying that for
me?" Which would make a case for employing directionality with the sign "example."
On a personal level, as I sit here signing to myself, playing with the sign, (my family are used to seeing me "sign to
myself" and have long since given up worrying whether it is insanity or some other reason) and seeing what "feels"
right--I note that it feels okay to sign "give an example to" as one sign/movement, but it "feels" a little "off" to sign
"give me an example" using just one sign/movement but still passable.