ASL University ►

American Sign Language: "accent"

To sign ACCENT (as in a variation in speech) form your dominant hand into an index finger handshape and hold it near your throat. Move your hand to your throat and make contact with the tip of your index finger.


In a message dated 2/9/2006 6:17:14 AM Pacific Standard Time, Donna Bursey writes:
[How do you] sign "accent" -- the context is this:  I am having some trouble moving my fingers because of swelling due to wrist surgery and some arthritis, so when I mentioned that the interpreter in our first class, she said "Oh, you sign with an accent." (I said I signed with a lisp!) -- in any case, I think that's a good line, so I'd like to be able to reproduce it.  The interpreter, however, was only there for the first class, thus I would like the sign for "accent," or maybe "lisp" or maybe both!  (Can you say "greedy"?)

Thank you, and keep up the good work.


Donna Bursey '97
Technical Services Manager, Advancement Services
Bentley College
Waltham, MA

The sign for "accent" is done by poking your throat (lightly) with your index finger.  You can poke it either once or twice. (But I only poke once.)  I agree with you in that what you have is more of a "lisp" than an accent, but the interpreter was right in that a "common" way of referring to signing that is different from the norm is to refer to it as "having an accent."
-- Dr. Bill


Want to help support ASL University?  It's easy DONATE (Thanks!)
(You don't need a PayPal account. Just look for the credit card logos and click continue.)

Another way to help is to buy something from the ASLU "Bookstore."

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

Bandwidth slow?  Check out "" (a free mirror of less traffic, fast access)   VISIT >


You can learn sign language (ASL) online at American Sign Language University    Dr. William Vicars