# Numeral Incorporation in sign language

Numeral incorporation is a morphological process, in which a number is incorporated into a handshape, a classifier, or a pronoun of a sign.

Let's look at an example of two+day and two-day. Notice the difference between these two glosses? The former has a plus symbol which means two ASL signs and the latter has a minus symbol which means one sign (despite two English words for the sake of glossing).

The sign two+day has two separate signs (two morphemes): TWO and DAY.

Numeral incorporation occurs when one incorporates a number into the sign DAY. It becomes one sign, but it has two meaningful parts (morphemes). The numeral part is a "bound morpheme."

## Numeral incorporation with noun

The ASL word hour is a regular noun as shown above.

The sign HOUR can be incorporated into a number from one through nine. Beyond ten, one has to sign two separate signs NUMBER and HOUR.

As a basic rule, numeral incorporation can only work up to 9 numbers. Beyond number 10, use the regular separate signs such as 12+MONTH.

Numeral incorporation can work with the following ASL signs from one through nine (from one through five in a few categories): MINUTE, HOUR, DAY, WEEK, MONTH, O'CLOCK, and so on.

## Numeral incorporation with classifier

[L] the upright 1-handshape classifier may represent a standing person, pen, stick or another. By changing this handshape to "2" or "V", this classifier then can represent two persons (standing), two sticks (horizontal orientation), and so on.

## Numeral incorporation with pronoun

The images above illustrate ASL pronouns you and I/me respectively, which can be interpreted as you and me/I. They can be incorporated with a manual number as shown below.

Instead of signing you me/I, the signer can incorporate the manual number two into the handshape to create a V- or 2-handshape. It means the same as "you and me/I", "both of us", or "the two of us".