Ask ASLwrite – Facial Expressions and More

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Curious about today’s Ask ASLwrite? Here’s what we discussed!

Q: How do you sign “blunt”?


"Blunt" in Written ASL

Blunt – with full head locative and forehead-to-nose locative.

Q: How do you show facial expressions that change the meaning of words?


No in Written ASL

Plain “no.”

Variations on "No" in written ASL

“No” with different expressions.

Q: How do you show where a sign starts, and what do you do with some words where the direction is interchangeable?

A: For interchangeable signs like “deaf” or “home,” you can put the digits in between the contact points. In other signs where the beginning point is standard, the digit is written there. It is like when reading a map — you don’t start at the end of the directional arrows, you start at the beginning of the line. Starting Digits in Written ASL

Q: What about when your body moves while signing?

A: Use the locatives, at the focal point of the movement. If you’re going with expressions only without any signed words, see the example.

Body Shifts

Body Shift with Facial Expression

Q: Which perspective do we write from?
A: We write from our perspective as a signer, except in some words where the signs go outward from the body.

Q: How do you write the ASL word, “here”? What about “encourage” in comparison?

A: Written ASL words "here" and "encourage"

Q: How do we show the pace of signs in ASL? Slow vs. fast?

A: We are still figuring out the details, but here is what we can do for “slow” and “fast.” The squint indicates a slow pace and the firmpoint can indicate speed. Facial expressions are helpful, too.

Slow and Fast in Written ASL

Special Note:

In today’s session Guara Boisevert made an excellent suggestion on new indicators for several words related to gender. This is what he proposed:

Guara's Written ASL Indicator Suggestions

Adrean’s note: All look great. Male and Female are already potential indicators, and Man and Woman can work without the contact point at beginning. We’ll see if the community picks it up!

Join us next Monday, November 12th for more! (We’ll be sending out the link via Twitter and Facebook, but you can sign up here to be notified by email.)

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