K in sign language

K in ASL alphabet

What is the sign for K in American Sign Language?

Definition: The eleventh letter of the alphabet in English, a consonant.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant hand is held in space with the palm facing loosely out/left if right-handed. The thumb is resting on the bottom between the index finger and middle finger which causes the middle finger bow down while the forefinger remains upright and the pinky finger and ring finger are closed.

Previous letter: J and next letter L.

K in fingerspelling

When fingerspelling a double letter of K, use the bounce as in NIKKI. Remember not to bounce every letter when fingerspelling any letters. Deaf signers don't. Bouncy fingerspelling is very common and is often a weak point in beginners. For deaf people, bouncy fingerspelling is eyesore.

Baby signing K

The handshape K/P in sign language is one of the majority of marked handshapes while a small number of the handshapes in the chart is unmarked. In early language development (phonological acquisition), the handshape K/P emerges much later than first unmarked handshapes and other mid-phase marked handshapes.

In a case study of baby Juli, the handshape "K" or "P" (both same handshape but different orientation) began to emerge as seen in the ASL word PARK at age 2;5. At age 3;4, the handshape K or P formed perfectly as in fingerspelled words fs-BOOK and fs-PEPPA as well as the ABCs.

Around the world

There are different manual alphabets around the world. While signed languages in different countries are distinct, some share the similar manual alphabets used for fingerspelling spoken or sound-based words of spoken/written languages.

Both the sign language alphabets and the sign languages are different between British Sign Language (BSL) used in the U.K. and American Sign Language (ASL) used in the North America.

K letter in BSL
K letter in BSL

In the two-handed BSL alphabet, as the image shows, the knuckle of the bent index finger of the American "X" handshape is in contact with the middle of the upright forefinger of the non-dominant "1" handshape.

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.]

How to write ASL for letter K

Written ASL digit for the alphabetical letter K. [Contributed by ASLwrite, 2019]

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