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In a message dated 1/22/2007 10:54:39 AM Pacific Standard Time, Teach2ski2 writes:
Oh, oh...I am also using your website words for my high school class.  Once a week I pass out 10 of your sign descriptions (your test) so the students and the staff can try to determine the sign.  It's a good reading exercise for the students and good practice for the interpreters.  Interesting, that while the "deafer" students know the signs better, the "hearer" students get more correct.  It's a reading thing.  "Butt of the left hand" on number 9 got some.  They thought the sign must be "dog" because you slapped your butt when you sign "dog".  [Editor's note:  I do NOT slap my butt when signing "DOG."  I snap my fingers and/or slap my thigh.  heh]So, we learned what the butt of the hand is.  Also...number 6...most of us put "chew" instead of "wash".  Is there a difference?
There is a definite difference.  The non-manual marker for the sign "chew" requires you to make a chewing movement with your jaw.  Additionally the movement of "wash" is two steady circles.  The movement of "chew" is slightly more elliptical (very slightly) and uses a bit (but not much) more shoulder/elbow movement as the hand circles toward the body.  Think of how we chew.  As we begin the downward bite our jaw travels relatively quickly, then as we near the end of our bite our jaw slows down a bit. Then we open up quickly and begin biting down again and then slow down as we complete the bite.  That same movement pattern is sometimes evident in the sign for "chew."  I say "sometimes" because not all signers reflect this in their signing.  But for the sake of discussion, visualize how you would show someone chewing something very thick and sticky.  You would modify the movement of your hands to show the movement of the jaw.

American Sign Language University ASL resources by Dr. William Vicars
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