W in sign language
Meaning: The 23rd letter of the English alphabet, a consonant.
Pronunciation (sign description): The tips of thumb and pinky are in contact while the three middle fingers are upright with the palm facing outward.
Q: "By the way, how do you know the difference between "6" and "W"?
A: Honestly, as a native signer, I have never thought of these homophones and many other pairs of homophones until they are brought up by learners (a new persepctive for us). It's all about contexts and language use.
Vocabulary booster activity with the "W" handshape
For a beginner level and beyond with at least 50 words, can you come up with as many ASL signs that starts with the "W" or "6" handshape as possible? Its variant can be "claw-6" or "flexed-6". For example, WATER.
Remember the handshape is based on the dominant hand only, no matter if the signs are one-handed or two-handed.
Glosses: Letter "W" (ha), WEIRD, WITNESS (variation), number 6 (ha), WHISKERS (kind of classifier), ...
Struggle? So far, have you got a very few words, even including the letter and the number (ha)? Know why?
The W/Y handshape is one of several "marked" handshapes that are not natural. Most of the handshapes are "unmarked" handshapes that are natural. That's how the brain processing (phonetics?) works.
[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 the alphabetical letter W. [Contributed by ASLwrite, 2019]