Signs for HOME

Sweet home sweet.

ASL sign for "home"

"How do you say 'home' in American Sign Language?"

Definition: The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.

Pronunciation/articulation: Dominant "flat O" handshape touching on the cheek near the mouth and then touching on the cheek again a bit away from the mouth.

The sign originally came from the compound EAT+BED which became assimilated into non-compound sign HOME. It's called "perseverative assimilation".

Minimal Pairs

Different handshape with same movement and location: YESTERDAY, NATIVE-AMERICAN.

Kid signing "home"

The time-lapse video shows how the bilingual ASL-speaking child acquired the word "home" in American Sign Language on the phonological level from toddler to kindergarten. Like words in spoken languages, it takes time for a child to develop and pronounce the words over time in sign language.

The ASL word "home" first emerged during the one-word stage. The ASL word began with the "20" or "baby O" handshape which is one of few unmarked handshapes (about 7) out of 50+ handshapes. At age 1;7, one can capture a subtle shift into "30" handshape for a while before the correct handshape "flat O" is formed at about age 1;11.

An interesting, perhaps surprising, was that one can easily assume that the movement was easy and correct for a long time, until Juli moved her hand from one cheek to the other cheek rather than from the lower cheek to the upper cheek at about age 2;11. This shows how the brain processing worked inside the kid's mind. When the preschooler became conscious of the arc motion, not tapping on the cheek, the child pronounced the movement erroneously (proximalization). At about age 3;3, the movement was then correct. The movement evolved from tapping twice, to the arc motion in an incorrect way, then to the arc movement in the correct way.

Again, each child develops at a different pace; however, phonological processing and timeline frames are consistent regardless of the modalities -- visual-spatial and aural-vocal languages.

Related sign words

Of all the HOUSES she'd lived in, Tabitha the house spider liked the BOATHOUSE the best. The APARTMENT was small and the roaches were too quick. Her CONDO had a troublesome cat, and the three bedroom home was too chaotic with too many noisy kids. Every DWELLING she found was infested with people who would try to squish her. She often wished she could settle in an abandoned CABIN or COTTAGE in the woods, but alas she was not a recluse. Unfortunately, the boathouse collapsed due to termites, so for the time being, she was HOMELESS. Though there was a nice little DUPLEX being built up the street. Maybe she could get there before the people took over. Probably not though, she just got swatted by a newspaper.



Get more with the PatronPlus subscription to unlock the premium content and more features, including ad-free for clean and fast page loading. Already a subscriber? Login.

Written ASL

[Note: ASL writing is not an official standard. This sign language writing remains in a state of open space to allow room for experiment, evolution, and improvement.]

ASL writing for HOME

Contributed by Adrean Clark.

~~ Feeling lucky? ¯\(°_o)/¯ Random word ~~