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American Sign Language: "chair" and "sit"

The sign for "CHAIR/sit" is a classic "noun/verb" pair.   
The noun, CHAIR, has a smaller, double movement.
The verb, SIT, has a larger, single movement.

CHAIR: [noun--double movement]  (Do the sign "sit" twice.)


This sign is the "verb" form of the sign "CHAIR."  You just do the first half of the sign "CHAIR."  One quick motion.

Note: See the "SIT" page for advanced forms of this sign.

BENCH: One movement.  Modified form of  "CHAIR."
This sign could also be used to indicate a row of people sitting.

This is a combination of "SIT" and "C" classifier handshapes to show the shape of a couch.

The sign "SIT" can be modified to show someone squirming in their chair.  This can be used to mean "anxiety" and similar concepts.


A student asked me, "How do you sign 'long time.'"
My response involved the sign "sit" so I'm including it here:
In general I just do the signs "LONG" and then "TIME." But if you are signing something like, "I sat for a long time" you would modify the verb SIT with a "temporal inflection." What I mean by that would do the sign for "SIT"...then you would move both hands up an inch, forward, down, and back (keeping your hands together--or shall we say, "keeping your buns on the chair") using a circular motion. This movement means that you have been "sitting for a long time"--so in that case you would not need a separate sign for "long time." The concept of "long time" would be shown by the way you move the sign.

Also see: SWING
Also see: SIT


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