[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 "MISUNDERSTAND". [Todd Hicks, ASLwrite, 2019.]
Deaf Culture and tidbits
Language development L1
This adorable anecdote demonstrates a glimpse of the language development in ASL as a first language in a bilingual preschooler named Juli. This anecdote shows how the preschooler learned the ASL word MISUNDERSTANDING. If she hadn't known this word, how would she have expressed this concept? Let's see. (All conversations in ASL as always)
One evening at dinner, Juli (age 5;0) told me YOU 'B'!. Previously, she always gave me an "A". I asked, "Why did I get a B?" She changed her mind, HMM, WAVE-NO, MY MIND WRONG. YOU "A". YOU NOT "B". MY MIND WRONG. She thought for an instant moment and quickly corrected herself, IX-me MISUNDERSTAND.
If she hadn't known the ASL word/sign for MISUNDERTAND, she would express this way, "My mind is wrong." It was some strategic competency of communication. But, she realized that she knew and remembered the ASL word for this concept that she learned a little while before. She then used it.
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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).