FIND in sign language

ASL sign for FIND
ASL sign for FIND

ASL sign for FIND

How to sign "find" in American Sign Language (ASL) and how a toddler acquired the word in early language development in ASL.

Meaning: To discover (something or someone) by chance or unexpectedly, or without planning or trying to; to get or discover something or someone that you are looking for.

Pronunciation (production): Dominant "open-F" -> "F" hand (handshape), palm down (orientation), slightly moving upward (movement) in mid-space (location). When drawing upward, the tips of thumb and forefinger connects.

Kid signing FIND

The video shows a bilingual signer articulating FIND in American Sign Language.

In the video, the toddler at age 2;1 could express the concept of "find" with the handshape error. At age 2;10, the toddler became more conscious of the handshape integrated with other phonological parameters (location, movement, and orientation). Not in the video, the toddler was able to form "F" in ASL words such as TEA and FIND. Then at age 3;0, she became more articulate with the "F" handshape in more ASL words such as FRUIT and CAT.

To a naive eye, it sounds like the handshape "F" is easy to form, but it's not the case in early language acquisition (phonological acquisition) in ASL-speaking children. As the handshape "F" is one of the 50+ marked handshapes, whereas only 7 out of 55+ handshapes are the unmarked handshapes which are the first handshapes that babies and toddlers use during the early language development.

A baby or toddler may be able to grasp things with fingers and thumb easily, but it doesn't mean they can have the same ability in language (signed language). Manipulating things with fingers are apart from pronouncing signed words with fingers.



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