Signs for SNAKE

Meaning: a long limbless crawling reptile.

Pronunciation (production): Dominant "V" handshape, palm down (orientation), the back of the hand on the chin (location), moves forward in zig-zag (movement).

Related signs: ANIMAL, REPTILE.

Deaf Culture and tidbits

Baby signing

Contrary to common assumption, a baby doesn't produce (pronounce) the sign fully at once. Like spoken language, it takes time to develop it.

Watch how the child acquires the ASL sign for "snake" on the phonological level of development, especially in handshape, as a case study. Remember that each child develops differently.

It started with the forefinger handshape, because it's one of a few unmarked handshapes, while the handshape "V" is marked, which is harder than the unmarked one.

For a brief, the handshape evolved into "B" handshape. Next, before it reached "V", the child first used "R", then "U", and finally "V", because it's how it worked for her. For all of her signs with the handshapes of "U" and "V", she used "R" to help hold two fingers. That was her natural way.

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