Fingerspelled loan signs in American Sign Language

In American Sign Language (ASL), fingerspelled loan signs (unlike fingerspelling) are the ASL signs that a fingerspelled English word is evolved into a sign. They are also known as lexicalized fingerspelling. These loanwords are the "borrowing" of signs from some English words.

Below are some examples of the loan-signs or loanwords which usually marked with a "#" followed by capital letters:

#OK, #ALL, #IF, #EX, #OR, #OHH!, #OFF, #ON, #OR, #OT, #SO, #WHAT! and so on. Where, OT = overtime.

There are some other ASL loanwords that don't look like fingerspelling and ASL students are often surprised to learn that those ASL signs originated from fignerspelling below:


Some loanwords are stylized such as #STYLE (one of ASL students' "favorite difficulties"), #QUIZ, and so on.

ASL students are advised to perceive them as ASL words, not fingerspelled words, by perceiving the movement and shape of the words. Do they listen English words by letter by letter? No, by the whole word of its shape and movement.

Related posts: Word borrowing in sign language.

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