Level: Beginners I

Talking about family

Basic conversations about your family in ASL (American Sign Language).

Vocabulary: family members

See the ASL dictionary for the following vocabulary: MOTHER, FATHER, SISTER, BROTHER, GRANDMOTHER, GRANDFATHER, AUNT, UNCLE, STEP-*.

Glossed: /\SISTER+BROTHER/\ YOU HAVE, YOU/\

ASL glossed as: /\SISTER+BROHTER/\ YOU HAVE \/HOW-MANY\/

English equivalent: How many brothers and sisters do you have? or How many siblings do you have?

Topic part for SISTER+BROTHER and comment part for YOU HAVE HOW-MANY?. Burrow eyebrows for the wh-question HOW-MANY (one sign). Remind that the gloss symbol "-" (dash) means one ASL sign.

Grammar and conversations

Remember to use contrastive structure when needed. Review contrastive structure if needed.

When talking about two sets of siblings, it doesn't matter which brothers or sisters you start with in the left space if you're right-handed. It can be either "# brothers and # sisters" or "# sisters and # brothers".

But, once you establish the referents in their locations, you should retain the same points of reference for these referents when you refer to them again and again in sentences or the story.

Here is an example of usage below.

MY FATHER "HAVE" [loc-left]ONE BROTHER [loc-right]THREE SISTER.

Pets

See the ASL dictionary: CAT, DOG, FISH, BIRD, RABBIT, and other animals.

Here are some possible sentences below. Remember that the transcription symbol /\ for the glosses represents raised eyebrows for yes-no questions. And, the symbol | stands for contrastive structure between two glosses.

#PET/\, YOU HAVE IX HOME/\

#PET/\, YOU HAVE, YOU/\

YES, IX-me HAVE ONE DOG BLACK ALL-OVER-BODY | ONE CAT WHITE. IX1 OLD-FIVE | IX2 OLD! MANY YEARS.

Related posts

Review contrastive structure.

Enter a keyword in the field box below to search or filter the new topic list and click on the link.

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.