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The myth of "STORE I GO"

Also see: "ASL Sentence Structure"

Lots of "ASL" teachers misuse the phrase "STORE I GO" as an example of typical ASL grammar. 

The "Store I go" syntax is an unfortunate myth. In real life the vast majority of socially active native Deaf adult ASL signers in conversation with other fluent signers just sign "I GO STORE."

The myth has been told so often and for so long (often by Hearing teachers of ASL or even some young Deaf teachers that aren't all that great at ASL themselves) that many people (who haven't lived in the Deaf Community for a lifetime) believe it -- yet it simply isn't the case. While there are certainly times when that sentence should be topicalized -- such situations are comparatively rare to the extent that claiming otherwise is somewhat misleading.


We see it here:  where the (Deaf, fluent) signer (Channing Brown) mentions "going into a store" (not "store, going into).

Here we see Zach Lotane (profoundly Deaf) signing "if I should go store" and not "store, I go."

Example from two fluent signers: Jill is Hearing and her wife is Deaf
Note how she doesn't sign "store, can enter" -- instead she signs "can enter store." See Jill signing "I go store" again here:

You can see Jenna (Deaf) signing "have to go other store" not "other store, have to go to."

Here we see Rogan (Deaf) signing, "I go store" -- not "store I go."

See Chey Clearbrook (Deaf) here explaining how she signs "I go store" in ASL:
Here we see Chey (Deaf) signing "every time I walk into a store..." -- not "store, I walk into."

Remember, I've suggested to you that you will indeed find examples of Deaf teaching the "STORE I GO" construction but I encourage you to also look for examples of those *same* individuals discussing going to the store in a natural setting when they are not thinking about it. 

For example, Ryan (Deaf) has a video out where he actually teaches the myth (store, go), yet in another video when he isn't "thinking about it" he just naturally signs "go store" (contradicting himself).
Here it is at:   Don't misunderstand my point.  He seems like a really, really, nice guy. I'm just saying that even many Deaf have bought into the myth -- yet in everyday real life ASL signing when they aren't "thinking about it" that same person will sign "I go store." (Not, "Store, I go.").

The use of "STORE I GO" as an example of American Sign Language (ASL) sentence structure is not representative of the type of signing being done by socially active adult Deaf native signers.

It is a myth.



____ If you would like to do a deep dive on this topic, see: ASL Sentence Structure
____ Observation would suggest that often the individuals teaching this are learners of ASL as a second language and/or have NOT spent a lifetime of interacting with socially active adult Deaf native signers. This isn't to say that there aren't many excellent Hearing teachers of ASL. There are many excellent ones.   It is simply to suggest that a lifetime of interacting with Deaf and using ASL as your primary language leads people to use it in natural ways that flow and are very efficient. (Also know as "fluently.")


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