[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.]
Written ASL digit for "INSECT". [Contributed by Jolanta in ASLwrite, 2019]
Deaf Culture and tidbits
One of a few funny misfortunes was that a couple stopped to let Juli (age 1;7,3) pet their dog. Juli, sitting in her stroller, hesitated to pet but she looked at the stranger and spontaneously told a story, insect got-slapped! (where the production for "insect" was not perfect). She was talking about a mosquito. The man smiled subtly (or at least half-smiled).
Imagine, the man through his perception, who didn't know ASL and had no idea about the early phonological development in sign language) looked at the toddler who signed by "honking" her nose and "slapped". How weird that toddler must be! He'd never think of a 'insect' or 'mosquito'. The "claw 3" handshape for INSECT is one of the handshapes to develop only much later.
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If you cannot find (perhaps overlook) a word but you can still see a list of links, then keep looking until the links disappear! Sharpening your eye or maybe refine your alphabetical index skill. :)
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Grammar: ASL has its own grammar and structure in sentences that works differently from English. For plurals, verb inflections, word order, etc., learn grammar in the "ASL Learn" section. For search in the dictionary, use the present-time verbs and base words. If you look for "said", look up the word "say". Likewise, if you look for an adjective word, try the noun or vice versa. E.g. The ASL signs for French and France are the same. If you look for a plural word, use a singular word.
Inflection: Many ASL words, especially verbs, in the dictionary are a "base"; be aware that many of them are grammatically inflectable within ASL sentences. Some entries have sentence examples.
Variation: Some ASL signs have regional (and generational) variations across North America. Some common variations are included as much as possible, but for specifically local variations, interact with your local community to learn their local variations.
Contextual meaning: Some ASL signs in the dictionary may not mean the same in different contexts and/or ASL sentences. You will see some examples in video sentences.
ASL is very much alive and indefinitely constructable as any spoken language. The best way to use ASL right is to immerse in daily language interactions and conversations with Deaf/Ameslan people (or ASLians).