ASL Lessons | Bookstore | Library | ASL University Main ►
ASL: fingertwister / fingerfumbler: W6V29F1D
Students occasionally ask me how to show the difference between certain fingerspelled letters and signed numbers.
Plus once in a while the "fingertwister" (or sometimes called a fingerfumbler or finger-fumbler) (the signed equivalent of a tongue-twister) "w6v29f1d" gets posted as a challenge on ASL boards to see if the participants can do it in under 5 seconds. With some practice most people should be able to get it down to under five seconds. It helps to think of it as a word instead of individual letters and numbers.
Here's an "animated gif" version of that fingertwister at a somewhat slower pace showing the key handshape of each letter or number:
A few quick pointers:
Even though I'm choosing to show a difference between the W and the 6 as well as a difference between the F and the 9 -- in real life (everyday signing) the fingerspelled W often looks like an ASL 6 and vice versa. The same for the F and the 9.
In this particular fingertwister I am choosing to tap the 6 and the 9. I'm doing this because a string of numbers and letters is a low-context situation. The number 6 doesn't need to be tapped in a high-context situation. By high-context I mean a situation in which it is obvious that you are signing a number and not a letter. For example:
Person A: how-MANY?
Person B: SIX-[single tap version]
If your local teacher wants you to do your numbers and letters a certain way -- by all means sign it how your teacher wants it and get the grade you want. THEN go out into the real world and note that Deaf sign 6 and 9 a variety of ways with minor differences in the exact position of the fingers and thumb.
See: lexicalized fingerspelling (lexicalization)
* Want to help support ASL University? It's easy: DONATE (Thanks!)
* Another way to help is to buy something from Dr. Bill's "Bookstore."
* Want even more ASL resources? Visit the "ASL Training Center!" (Subscription Extension of ASLU)
* Also check out Dr. Bill's channel: www.youtube.com/billvicars
You can learn American Sign Language (ASL) online at American Sign Language University ™
ASL resources by Lifeprint.com © Dr. William Vicars