Grammar Features

Grammar Features

Topicalization (Topic-Comment) | WH-Q | Y/N-Q
Pronominalization Role-ShiftingRH-Q

Basic Sentence Structures


Topicalization (Topic-Comment)

  1. typical ASL sentence
  2. raised eyebrows and head tilted forward for topic
  3. neutral or other facial expression for comment if applicable

examples:

___t_____  _____c____ ___t______  __c_(nod)___ __t____   _c_(eye-gaze)__
MY NAME S-T-E-V-E-N HOMEWORK YOU HAVE TOILET OVER-THERE
“My name is Steven” “You do have homework.” “The restroom is over there”
     
_t__ ___c_(NEG)___ _t_ _(eye gaze)________  _t____ _c_  
DOG ME DONT-LIKE CAR OVER-THERE PARK WHITE MY  
“I don’t like dogs.” “The white car in that parking lot is mine.”  

 


WH-Question

  1. furrowed eyebrow
  2. head tilted forward
  3. start with the topic (and comment if needed) then use one of these WH-Q
    1. WHO – person
    2. WHERE – place, location
    3. WHY – reason
      1. WHAT-FOR “what is it for”, FOR-FOR, “how come”
    4. WHEN – time
    5. HOW – manner
      1. MANY – quantity (countable)
      2. MUCH, COST, VALUE – amount (uncountable), price
      3. LONG – duration, length
      4. OFTEN – frequency
      5. FAR – distance
      6. OLD – age
    6. WHAT – object, idea, or action
      1. KIND – description
      2. TIME – time
      3. HAPPEN – incident
    7. WHICH – choice

examples:

____t____  _wh-q_ __wh-q__ __t__  _wh-q_ __t__  _wh-q_
NAME YOU WHAT HOW YOU TOILET WHERE TEST WHEN
“What is your name?” “How are you?” “Where is the restroom?”

“When is the test?”

 


Yes-or-No-Question

  1. raised eyebrow
  2. head tilted forward
  3. start with the topic (and comment if needed)

examples:

_____y/n-q_____ ____y/n-q____ ____y/n-q____ __t________                      _ y/n-q__
NAME YOU HAVE YOU ALRIGHT UNDERSTAND ICE-CREAM CHOCOLATE YOU LIKE
“Do you have a name?” “Are you alright” “Do you understand?”

“Do you like chocolate ice cream?”

 


Pronominalization

A feature that you don’t have to repeat the signs for nouns, pronouns, proper names in ASL. Instead of repeating the pronouns, proper names, you pick the location for the person that is not present in the conversation and that location is fixed for the duration of the conversation. Role-shfting uses Pronominalization often (see below).

 


Role-Shifting

A feature to show the dialogues between the number of persons. It is pertinent that you establish who is talking (see Pronominalization above) before you do the dialogues.

 


Rhetorical Question

  1. raised eyebrow
  2. head tilted back slightly
  3. start with the topic (and comment if needed) then use one of these WH-Q then comment more further
    1. WHO – person
    2. WHERE – place, location
    3. WHY – reason
      1. WHAT-FOR, FOR-FOR, “how come”
    4. WHEN – time
    5. HOW – manner
      1. MANY – quantity (countable)
      2. MUCH, COST, VALUE – amount (uncountable), price
      3. LONG – duration, length
      4. OFTEN – frequency
      5. FAR – distance
      6. OLD – age
    6. WHAT – object, idea, or action
      1. KIND – description
      2. TIME – time
      3. HAPPEN – incident
    7. WHICH – choice
__t________  _rhq___ _c_(eye gaze)_ ___t_____  ___c____  _rhq___  _c_____ __t__   ___c_____ _rhq_ _____c_____
HOUSE HIS WHERE OVER-THERE HOUSTON ME-FLY-TO WHEN TONIGHT HOME SHE STAY WHY SHE TIRED.
“His house is actually over there.” “I am flying to Houston tonight.” “She is staying at home because she is tired.”

 


Basic Sentence Structures

Sentences with Predicate Adjectives

  • It is common in simple sentences to repeat the subject pronoun at the end of the sentence and is used to emphasize.
  • Two forms (pronouns used once either at the beginning or end of the sentence) are also common and used colloguially (informal, conversational). 


Sentences with Identifying Nouns

  • Simple sentences with nouns which identify the subject (predicate nominatives) are commonly structured like the simple sentences with predicate adjectives. The subject pronouns can be repeated at the end of the sentence.


Sentences with Verbs

  • A common sentence structure with verbs is: Subject + Verb + Object.


Object + Subject + Verb and Using Subject as Topic

  • Another common sentence structure is: Object + Subject + Verb.
  • In this sentence structure, the object is signed first, and there is usually a topic marker while signing the object of the sentence. The topic marker, represented by _t_ above the SIGN, is raised eyebrows.
  • When using the adjectives, the adjectives are followed by nouns and can be vice-versa in the topic clause.
  • The topic marker may be used on subjects as well as objects. The marker is used to specify, and in some cases emphasize, the subject.


Pronouns and Nouns, Using Two Third Person Pronouns, and Personal Pronouns Incorporating Number

  • Pronouns are often used together with nouns. In these cases, the pronoun can function like the English word, the, to specifiy. The pronoun can occur either before or after the noun.
  • When pronouns are used in a sentence to refer to two different persons, point to a different location for each person (see Pronominalization). If the persons are not present, the signer can refer to one person on one side of the singer and the other person on the opposite side.
  • There are other forms of personal pronouns that incorporate number. The numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5 can be incoporated (Rule of Five).
  • Peronal pronouns that come with numbers 6 and above are to be signed separately and numbers are signed before the pronouns.

 

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