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BROTHER / SISTER: The American Sign Language signs for "brother" and "sister"
Also see: MOM & DAD
The sign for "brother" uses a modified "L"-hand that turns into a "1"-hand as it moves from the forehead down to make contact with the base hand (which is in a 1-handshape).
"How many brothers do you have?" = BROTHER, HOW-MANY YOU?
The sign for "sister" uses a modified "L"-hand that turns into a "1"-hand as it moves from the jaw down to make contact with the base hand (which is in a 1-handshape).
There is an older version of both BROTHER and/or SISTER in which the last part of the sign places the index fingers next to each other (pointing forward) based on the sign BOY+SAME and/or GIRL+SAME. Those signs were indeed used in ASL for years but are now often mistakenly referred to or labeled as belonging to "Signed English." I personally don't think of the older versions of BROTHER and SISTER as Signed English but simply instead as "legacy" ASL or examples of "historical change." The Deaf Community most likely evolved the previous ASL signs to a faster, simpler version (the version with the dominant hand coming down onto the non-dominant hand) and it may be the case that many Hearing people learned the older version out of books (rather than interaction in the Deaf community) thus causing the older version to become associated with "Hearing people" and thus by extension -- "Signed English." Tip: This is conjecture on my part so even though I believe it to be true -- don't quote it as fact. Thanks. - Dr. Bill
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