ASL sign for NOT YET


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Used to describe that something is expected to happen but has not for the moment.

Learner Tips: With mouth morpheme TH! Without this proper mouthing, it means LATE.

This usage has multiple meanings in contexts in ASL.

One is "something expected to happen but has not for the moment".

Another is "no, something has not happened" with no indication or intention to complete or happen. E.g. Did you finish your homework?

Third, another meaning is that something has never happened." It didn't happen. E.g. A mother asks her son in ASL (translated as), "My $100 bill is missing in my purse. Did you take my $100 bill from my purse?" The son honestly replies, no. Since the mother and her son live alone, she asks again. The son insisted that sign NO-NEVER-DID! (as the gloss NOT-YET is a bad gloss for this context).

Cross-cultural communication

In a legal setting, when a lawyer asks a deaf defendant a question via an interpreter, "Did you [insert here]." A monolingual ASL deaf defendant might reply in ASL as (I'm avoiding a gloss here because it doesn't translate that ASL sign right).

This ASL sign has different meanings in contexts. A culturally incompetent interpreter might translate word for word, "not yet." Wrong! This can put the Deaf person in prison. This ASL sign in this context means, "No, I never did." In another context, it means NOT-YET but not meaning in this context.

Like many other words, competent Deaf bilinguals might not use it in some interpreting situations, for they don't always have the confidence in some interpreters' competence.

Learn more about cultural communication and competency.

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