Noun-verb pairs in sign language

Below illustrates some examples of the noun-verb pairs. In noun-verb pairs, often a noun has the two short movements whereas a verb has one long movement. There are some exceptions. Not all verbs or nouns have their pairs.

noun in ASL

It is the noun for airplane or airport in ASL. As for identifying which the "airport" or "airplane" it is, they can be identified in context.

This ASL sign to-fly is a verb.

This ASL noun for chair can be identified as a noun by its smaller, repeated movement.

This ASL verb for sit has a single, slightly longer movement.

Keep in mind that not all verbs and nouns are noun-verb pairs. Some signs with the same handshape, palm orientation and location but different movements have different meanings. E.g. MOVIE, NICE, PAPER, SCHOOL, CLEAN-UP.

More examples of the noun-verb pairs are as follows:


Related posts

Related topic: noun in ASL.

You may be also interested in agent-action construction in sign language linguistics.

Also see Verbs in sign language.

New to sign language? "Where do I start?" or "How do I start learning sign language?" This ASL Rookie guide lists some selected links to the tutorials for ASL beginners to get started and keep rolling. It may be a useful review for intermediate-level learners and ASL students as well.

Some tutorial pages are a mix of free and premium versions. Access to premium content and links below are available in the PatronPlus subscription. More links/posts will be added from time to time.

Expressing needs and wants

  1. Making commands or requests

Talking about activities

  1. Frequency of time: how often?

Are you able to carry everyday conversations in ASL? Are you a student in the intermediate levels and beyond, who wishes to boost up your signing skills? You've come to the selected tutorial series. (Some premium content are available to PatronPlus membership.)

Stories, poems, performance arts, etc. in sign language.

This documentation project follows a child's language acquisition, literacy development, and phonological acquisition in sign language, specifically ASL, from newborn to age five in a natural native-ASL environment and visual culture.