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Q: American Sign Language ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: American Sign Language
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: anniepannie-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 25 Apr 2006 15:00 PDT
Expires: 25 May 2006 15:00 PDT
Question ID: 722762
How would you explain the who, what, why, when questions of ASL?
Subject: Re: American Sign Language
Answered By: tlspiegel-ga on 27 Apr 2006 20:11 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi anniepannie,

Thank you for another interesting question.

Lesson Tutor - American Sign Language Series III Lesson 3: Question Words

[See images showing hand and finger placement]

[Scroll to chart for Signs and Description of Sign Action]

American Sign Language - Introduction to American Sign Language


"There are basically two types of questions - Yes/No questions and
Wh-word questions."


"If you want to ask a Wh-word question (i.e. who, what, where, when,
why, how) you would use a different non-manual signal. The behaviors
consist of a brow squint and, frequently, a tilting of the head.
Sometimes the body shifts forward and the shoulders are raised. For
example, suppose you wanted to ask someone how a mutual friend got to
a party (since you know the friend lives rather far away and the
friend's car is in the shop). You would use this set of Wh-word
non-manual behaviors while producing the manual signs meaning "HOW,"
"COME-here," "HOW." The meaning of the signed utterance would be the
Wh-word question "How did ____ get here"."

========= - American Sign Language 

"... lowered eyebrows indicate a 'wh-question' or one that requests
more information such as those that would use the question words: who,
what, when, where, or why."


American Sign Language and the American Deaf Community

"In forming questions, there is a slight difference between 'yes/no'
questions and 'wh-' questions (who, what, where, why, when). In
'yes/no' questions, the sentence ends with the signer's eyebrows up,
the last sign held and the head is slightly tilted forward. In a 'wh-'
question, the eyebrows are lowered, the last sign is held and the head
is slightly tilted forward."


Linguistic Society of America

"Another kind of question uses question words such as "who," "what,"
"where," "when," and "why." In English and in most other European
languages, these question words come at the beginning of the sentence,
e.g. What did she buy yesterday? In ASL, this questions may be
expressed in several ways, including one with the question word at the
end of the sentence (SHE BUY YESTERDAY WHAT?), or both at the
beginning and the end (WHAT SHE BUY YESTERDAY WHAT?). This is another
way that ASL grammar differs from English."


keyword search:

ASL question WH word description action
American Sign Language how to sign who what where when why


Best regards,

Request for Answer Clarification by anniepannie-ga on 28 Apr 2006 08:40 PDT
just a comment for tlspiegel-ga:  I would like to 'tip' you for a
great answer.  How do I do that?

Clarification of Answer by tlspiegel-ga on 28 Apr 2006 09:45 PDT
Hi anniepannie,

Thank you for the 5 star rating and comments.  The tip function is
found when you click on rating.  If you go to this link and scroll to
the 3rd from the last photo image, you'll see where it is located at
the bottom of the rating field.  Unfortunately, no tip can be added
afterwards.  But, I do appreciate the thought!  :)

Best regards,
anniepannie-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: American Sign Language
From: pinkfreud-ga on 25 Apr 2006 15:17 PDT
I believe this is far too broad a scope for a question priced at $3.
Subject: Re: American Sign Language
From: anniepannie-ga on 27 Apr 2006 18:47 PDT
would 5.00 be better?

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