Ordinal numbers in American Sign Language (ASL)

Ordinal numbers are words representing position or rank in a sequential order. An ordinal number is a number or word that tells the position of something in a list, such as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th etc. They differ from cardinal numbers, which represent quantity that you count.

These ordinal numbers in American Sign Language (ASL) show a way of signing in reference to the ordered list, winning places, positions, prizes or scores in sports or other contests.

There are a few different ways of signing the ordinals in ASL for different purposes. One is for a general ordered list, chronology, and such. Another is for indicating a winning place in a contest.

ninth place in ASL

Ninth place. Notice the twist of the wrist. It's used for indicating a position or place in a race, contest, or competition.

These are the numbers in an ordered sequence that is used to indicate what to do first, second, etc. It is also to indicate how many times one has done. E.g. This is my third car I've bought in a year. Or, "I've been to Washington, D.C. for a third time."

first-ordinal

second-ordinal

third-ordinal

fourth-ordinal

And so on up to the ordinal number ninth.

Contextual variation: first. It is used as in "first time" with only one movement in FIRST. E.g. /\FIRST TIME YOU GOT BICYCLE/\, \/HOW-OLD, YOU?\/ where the symbol /\ represents raised eyebrows and \/ symbolizes furrowed eyebrows.

Two movement of the active hand in FIRST usually refers to FIRSTLY. E.g. something that one has to do first before one can do next.

Places/Positions

These are the way of signing in reference to the winning places, positions, prizes or scores in sports or other contests.

first-place

second-place

third-place

fourth-place

And so on up to ninth. After the tenth and onward, one signs the number with the fingerspelled "th" at the end of the number. Or, sign the number of a dominant hand below the passive "5" handhape.

Related Posts

Related numbers: cardinal numbers 1-30

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