ASL: Lesson 6:Lesson Objectives:
___ I know how to deal with time concepts
___ I understand the "time line" concept and o'clock
___ I can recognize and sign numbers 101-999
___ I understand Topicalizing vs. SVO
___ I am able to recognize and sign the practice sentences and story for this lesson
___ I have taken the Lesson 6 Quiz
___ I have taken the general practice quiz for this lesson. See: PRACTICE QUIZZES
BLACK / BROWN / RED / ORANGE
BLUE / YELLOW / GREEN
FUTURE-(later, will. Variations: someday, far in the future)
NOW-(Synonyms: present, current, today)
PAPER-(Variations: page, look-up, dictionary)
PAST-(Synonyms: before, previously. Variation: long-ago)
TOMORROW-(Also see: daily, everyday)
YEAR-(Also see: annually, last-year, next-year, numerical incorporation)
Practice Sheet: 6.A
01. YOUR FAVORITE COLOR, WHAT? (What is your favorite color?) [L6]
02. NAME SOMETHING ITSELF BLACK WHITE (Name something that is black and white.) [L6]
03. YOU LIKE COLOR BROWN? (Do you like the color brown?) [L6]
04. YOU DRAW GOOD? (Do you draw well?) [L6]
05. YOUR PARENTS DIVORCE? (Are your parents divorced?) [L6]
Practice sheet: 6.B
06. YOU FINISH WATCH MOVIE "__________?" (Have you seen the movie [spell a popular movie]) [L6]
07. YOU THINK FUTURE YOU TEACH ASL? (Do you think that someday you will teach ASL?) [L6]
08. YOUR CHAIR GREEN? (Is your chair green?) [L6]
09. how-OLD YOU? (How old are you?) [L6]
10. how-SIGN W-A-I-T? (How do you do the sign "wait?") [L6]
Practice sheet: 6.C
11. YOU LIVE what-CITY? (In what city do you live?) [L6]
12. YOU LIVE INDEX-there HOW-LONG? (How long have you lived there?) [L6]
13. YOU WANT GO HOME NOW? (Do you want to go home now?) [L6]
14. YOUR PAPER, WHAT COLOR? (What color is your paper?) [L6]
15. YOU LIVE BIG CITY PAST YOU? (Have you ever lived in a big city?) [L6]
Practice sheet: 6.D
16. YOU LIKE RED CAR? (Do you like red cars?) [L6]
17. TOMORROW YOU GO SCHOOL? (Are you going to school tomorrow?) [L6]
18. YOU GO DOCTOR, WAIT-[long], YOU SIT-anxious YOU? (Do you get anxious when you wait a long time at the doctors office?) [L6]
19. YOU MOVE-[to-here] WHEN? (When did you move here?) [L6]
20. YOU LIVE HERE HOW-MANY YEAR? (How many years have you lived here?) [L6]
YEAR: The sign for YEAR can be thought of as the earth going around the sun one time equals “a year.” There is an advanced version of the sign for year in which the dominant hand is lazy and makes a small circle above the non-dominant hand instead of going all the way around. The sign for YEAR can be modified to mean: annually, last-year, or next-year. Additionally the sign YEAR can use numerical incorporation.
PAPER: The sign for PAPER can also be used to mean “page," however there is a specific sign for “page” (that can mean to turn pages and/or to look something up in a book) that uses an open-A handshape for the dominant hand and can be thought of as using your thumb to turn pages. If you use a “D” hand the sign becomes “DICTIONARY.”
PAST: The concept of “before” can have different meanings. “Before now” should be signed using the PAST sign. “Before some specific event” should use the “PRIOR-to” sign. The concept of “LONG-AGO” is a variation of PAST.
TOMORROW: The sign for tomorrow uses a slightly open-A handshape, is held at the side of the head and then moves forward in a little arc. The sign TOMORROW can be modified to mean “EVERYDAY” or “daily” by doing it twice and getting rid of the arc.
If you are wondering what an “open-A” handshape is—it is an “A” hand in which the thumb is sticking out.
The sign for FUTURE can modified to mean “someday” or “eventually” by using a larger movement or doing two arcs instead of one. FUTURE can also mean “will.” If the sign FUTURE shows up at the end of a sentence it likely is being used for emphasis or to express certainty that something will happen—(rather than simply establishing tense).
Regarding the sentence: "Have you ever lived in a big city?": "Tense Grammar in ASL"
Many ASL instructors will tend to sign that as: PAST, CITY LARGE, YOU LIVE YOU?
I've never liked that sentence construction because it creates "tense confusion." It could be argued that the sentence is creating the meaning of "in the past the city was large, did you live there (when it was large)?" Thus, for sentences involving the concept of "have you ever" moving the time concept closer to the subject "you" (rather than the object "the city") is more clear.
Or your local ASL teacher may want you to sign the sentence "Have you ever lived in a big city?" -- this way: "PAST YOU LIVE BIG CITY YOU?" That is quite a bit better. During your class you should sign however your teacher wants you to sign. He or she is the one who gives the grade and knows local/regional variations.
After you get the grade you want, go out into the Deaf Community and see how adult native ASL-signing Deaf people sign the concept "have you ever..."
Do your own research and I think you'll see what I'm talking about.
Now, as far as the technical reasons why I sign: "YOU LIVE BIG CITY PAST YOU?" -- it has to do with the way ASL uses the sign "PAST" as a verb paired with "YOU" to create a meaning of "did you?" If you'd like to get into the nitty gritty of it, see
How do you sign wait?
Are you going to school tomorrow?
Where do you live?
Are you skilled at art?
Have you ever lived in a big city?
Do you draw well?
If you go to the doctor and have to spend a long time in the waiting room do you become fidgety?
Have you lived in a big city before?
When did you move here?
What is your favorite color?
What color is your paper?
How many years have your parents been married?
How many years have your parents been married? (2)
YEAR-PAST MY HOUSE ROOM ROOM WHITE A-L-L. NOW-YEAR MANY COLOR. MY BEDROOM BLUE. MY SISTER BEDROOM YELLOW. BROTHER WANT BEDROOM BLACK, DAD (say)-NO-(to-him-"sternly"). (Role play brother bodyshift face slightly left. Ask-to-father)-ORANGE? (Role play father bodyshift facing slightly right.) say-NO-(to-son-"sternly")-(Role play brother bodyshift face slightly left. Ask-to-father)-BROWN? (Role play father bodyshift facing slightly right. "Think about it for a moment" "reluctantly") say-O-K-to-son. MOM-DAD THEIR-(singular) BED-ROOM WHITE. BATHROOM YELLOW. FAMILY ROOM GREEN. OUR CAR RED.
When you sign ROOM ROOM, modify the location a few inches. By this I mean, sign ROOM a little off-center to the right, then sign the second ROOM a little to the left. This is a way of pluralizing the concept of "room" to mean "rooms."
Later on we will learn the sign "DIFFERENT" but for now just sign "MANY" to indicate that the rooms in my house are "many different colors."
In the story, don't sign the "lower case" words. Instead, incorporate the concept of those lowercase words into your signing.
The sign for "THEIR-(singular)" means you are referring to your mom and dad as a single group (one set of parents) so you don't need to sweep the sign "THEIR" in this case. You can sign "THEIR-(singular)" by using the sign for "HIS/HERS/ITS." In fact, you don't really even need to sign any "possessive" sign in this situation because the order of the sentence (PARENTS BEDROOM) naturally indicates the bedroom belongs to the parents.
Time Concepts: Dealing with time
In English a person might say, "I went to a movie last Saturday." Or, maybe "Last Saturday I went to a movie." Notice how the concept of "go" is expressed as "went?" This is called "conjugating" the verb to show tense. (Conjugate is just a big word that means "change" or "join.") Another word for conjugate is "inflect."
In ASL that sentence would be signed "PAST SATURDAY ME-(PRO1) GO MOVIE." (The "PRO1" means a first person pronoun, which is done by simply pointing at yourself with an index finger.) We use the same form of the concept "GO" for both present and past tense sentences. That is the way it is with most ASL sentences. We establish the "tense" or time-frame of a sentence by using certain "time signs" like "past week," "next month," "now morning," or "next year," and then the rest of the sentence uses typical non-conjugated signs. This technique works for whole paragraphs and/or conversations. Tense only needs to be established once at the beginning of an ASL conversation. All of the remaining signs use the same form regardless whether you are talking about the past, present, or future. For example, in the sentence, "TOMORROW ME-(PRO1) GO MOVIE" uses the same sign for "GO" as the sentence, "YESTERDAY ME GO MOVIE."
Now note, that the interpretation of "NOW AFTERNOON ME-(PRO1) GO MOVIE" depends on what time of day it is. If it is morning, then the sentence would be the equivalent of, "This afternoon I will go to a movie." If it is currently night time, the sentence would be interpreted as, "Today I went to a movie." The ASL signs are the same, but their meaning depends on what time of day the sentence is being signed.
The general concept here is that you have a timeline that runs from behind you to in front of you. By doing a sign farther back you can indicate the concept occurred further in the past. The farther forward things are signed, the further in the future they are. Doing a sign close to your body can be used to indicate the nearness or recentness of an event.
This concept is expressed via touching the wrist prior to doing a number sign.
Topicalizing vs. SVO:
When you use the object or object phrase of a sentence as the topic of the sentence you are "topicalizing." An example of this would be:
WALK SCHOOL? Index-(me) DON'T-LIKE Index-(me) = "I don't like walking to school."
An example of Subject Verb Object (SVO) would be:
I DON'T-LIKE WALK SCHOOL. = "I don't like walking to school."
Both of these forms are correct in ASL.