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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Signing the Family Members

This is our second lesson in our Sign Language series, you can read Lesson One 'Fingerspelling', here. In this lesson we'll learn the family titles. Along with these signs, you may also learn other signs that are similar.

You'll want to practice these signs in conjunction with the signs from the last lesson. In which you practiced fingerspelling the names of your family members.


Father, Mother, Grandmother- Note that the sign for grandfather is like grandmother, only you begin the movement at your forehead they way you sign father.

Parent- To sign parent you begin with the sign for "p'. Touch the "p" to your chin then bring it up to your forehead. Make sure you are using the right sign for "p'. Some people mistake the sign for "k". It is similar, but the "p" is in a downward position, while "k" is pointed upward.

Child- Both hands extend just in front of you, palms facing down. Begin to wave just your hand up and down slightly with flat palms and as you make a patting movement you also move each hand away from your body to each side of you.

Sister and brother- You will notice that the male signs are always at the head and the female signs are always at the chin. Notice how father and brother are both at the forehead and mother and sister are at the chin.

Girl- The make the girl sign you begin with your hand in the form of the letter "a". Begin at the jawbone, just under your earlobe and drag your thumb down your jawline to your chin. This sign originates from the bonnet strings of young girls on the prairie.

Boy- The boy sign is a fun one! Imagine you are putting a baseball cap on your head. You hand will be just above your forehead, with your flat hand in the same position you would use in a paper bag puppet. Imagine your hand talking to you. As you 'put on your ball cap', you will close that hand, as if the puppets mouth has closed. You do this sign right at the top of your head.

Aunt and Uncle- Again these signs are at the side of your jaw and temple. Aunt is with the letter "a", and uncle with the letter "u".

Baby - is just what you think it would be, Pretend you are cradling a baby in your two arms and rocking it side to side.

Daughter- Is a combination of girl and baby.

Son- Is a combination of son and baby.

Marriage, Husband, and Wife- Again, notice the male sign is at the forehead and the female sign is at the chin. (married and marriage is the same sign)

Ephesians 5:23, "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body."

Now here are a few words to fill in as you begin your sentences in this assignment.

My and mine is the same sign. With your palm open and flat place your hand on your chest, just like you did as a child when you would tell a friend that something is 'mine'.

Are- Now this sign is not often used in ASL, but is used in Signed English. To say 'Are' you would use the letter "r", begin that "r" at your lips and move your "r" forward just about 2-3 inches.

Is- The word 'is' has a similar movement with the letter "i' beginning at the middle of your chest, with a forward movement about 2-3 inches.

She/He- with these words you simply point to the person you are referring to. If the person is not present simply point away from you to your dominant hand's side, as if they are standing next to you.

To- "To" is also not often used, but you can practice it. This sign is simply using both index fingers as if you're pointing to something. You will connect the point of both index fingers to each other.

Now with these signs and the lesson you learned last week, practice these sentences.
1. You are my
mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle

2. She is my daughter, he is my son. (Mother, father)

3. She is my sister, he is my brother
(With 2 and 3, you do not need to sign the word 'is'. you would 'say she's and he's)

4. She/ he is my baby.

5. Using number 1, replace 'you are' with the person's name. You will use fingerspelling. So I would fingerspell 'Jessica' then sign, "Is my daughter" Now practice number 1 by replacing "You are" with each of your family member's names. Do this same exercise with all the family members in number 1.

6. Practice "My husband/wife is" and "Her husband is ..fingerspell the name.." "His wife is ..fingerspell the name.."

7. Practice " My aunt is ..fingerspell the name.." "My uncle is ..fingerspell the name.."

8. Compound sentences- Practice these sentences: (If you don't have a particular family member, make one up for these exercises.)
My uncle is ..FS his name.. he is married to my aunt .. FS name..
My dad/father is ..FS his name.. he is married to my mom.. FS her name..
My sister is ..FS her name.. she is my mother's daughter.
My brother is ..FS his name.. he is my father's son.

9. Have each person in your family practice signing and sentence and see who can understand the sentence first. Whoever wins gets to the the person to sign the next sentence, and so on.

10. You can practice in front of the mirror if you're learning this on your own.

11. Further Study- Watch a movie you know well. One with real people, not cartoons. Watch one scene a few times in a row without sound. See if you can identify the words by lipreading.

Let me know how you did this week!

Sisterlisa (who still needs to make a new signature)

The HomeSpun Life

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