BEAR in sign language
Learn how to sign "bear" in ASL.
Definition: Any one of a group of large and heavy animals that have thick hair and sharp claws and that can stand on two legs like a person.
Baby signing BEAR in ASL
Watch the video which shows how an infant acquires the ASL word BEAR in a time-lapse from months old to age 3. In this case study, the infant develops a control (motor skill) of the joints from the shoulder to the elbow to the wrist and knuckles of the fingers.
As demonstrated in the time-lapse video, the ASL sign BEAR begins with the handshape "5", one of the unmarked handshapes. The baby Juli demonstrated how she was eventually able to control the fingers to form a "claw".
In this process (which is "proximalization"), you can see the child above signed in bigger movement patterns from the shoulder (the joints most proximal to the torso) and gradually to the wrist and knuckles (the joints most distal to the torso). It takes some time to develop this ASL sign (BEAR) including crossing the arms.
Note: I had caught her crossing her arms (non-linguistically) a few times long before she could sign BEAR with the crossed arms (linguistically).
[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 digit written and contributed by the ASLwrite community, 2017.
Experimental handshape, 2017.