ASL Lessons | Bookstore | Library | ASL University Main ►


ASL: Fingertwister: W6V29F1D


Students occasionally ask me how to show the difference between certain fingerspelled letters and signed numbers.

Plus once in a while the "fingertwister" (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: coarticulation
See: lexicalized fingerspelling (lexicalization)
 


W:


6:








 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 



 

Notes:
 




*  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