Numeral and numbers in sign language

A numeral is a system that represents a set of numbers. For example, the number "9" in Arabic, the word "nine" in English, the number "IX" in Roman, the number in Chinese, and the '9-handshape' in ASL are expressed in different numeral systems (languages), yet they all represent the same number.

The manual numeral is a system of manual numbers. Like sign languages, manual numerals around the world are not universal. In sign langauges, they have their own signs for the numbers, in the same way that there are different written numbers. Some manual numerals are one-handed and some are two-handed systems.

Numeral Contexts

Not all numbers in ASL are expressed the same in different contexts, such as money, time, position, etc. For example, the signs for number one (1) and first (1st) in ASL are different.

Related posts

How number is incorporated into a sign: numeral incorporation


MacDougall, Cinnie. Number Signs for Everyone.

"Pursuit of ASL: Interesting Facts Usign Numbers" (DVD) with Angela Stratiy. ISBN 9780969779261. Contact Interpreting Consolidated, Edmonton, Canada.

Also see numeral storytelling.