Listing and ranking are grammatical parts in American Sign Language (ASL). It is used when referring to three (or sometimes two) or more referents, usually up to five where your passive or non-dominant hand has only five.
If referring to two things, the signer uses the contrastive structure. Sometimes, use ranking/listing for two things.
GLOSS: my mother "have" three degrees ix-1 ba ix-2 bfa ix-3 mfa, maybe future ix-she study ix-4 phd.
Equivalent to English: My mother has three degrees: BA, BFA, and MFA. Who knows she might study for PhD in the future.
Usually, the signer holds three fingers throughout for the first three items instead of adding one after one. The method above is a variation, though infrequently. It's used in some contexts.
Listing is usually in order from the oldest to the youngest (e.g. siblings, children, etc.), from the first position to the last (e.g. sports), the importance of topics, and so on.
When talking about two things (e.g. topics), use "2" handshape (not index finger and thumb).
When referring to one of three things, use "3" handshape. As for four, use "4" handshape. And, "5" handshape.
As for four, use "4" handshape.
And, "5" handshape.
How does one sign if a person is the sixth sibling in his/her family? Or, one is ranked 8th in a contest? Use the regular number of the dominant hand below the passive hand.
This content is available exclusively to subscribers. Please log in or sign up in the menu.
Also see contrastive structure to learn about referring to two things, persons, or topics.
See role shifting (body and gaze shifting) for another related grammatical 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.
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.)
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.