ASL University ►


American Sign Language:  "IF"


IF = SUPPOSE:
This version of "if" can mean "suppose" or "what if?"  Tap the pinkie on your upper cheek twice.  Do not brush it. Do not bend it.  Just move it to your face, out, and back to your face again.



If you furrow your eyebrows a bit and tilt your head a bit while signing "IF/SUPPOSE" it changes the meaning to "What if...?"

"WHAT-IF?"


 


 


This version of the sign "IF" can mean such things as:  court, judge, trial:
IF / COURT / JUDGE / TRIAL:

See: TRIAL


Lexicalized version of "IF" written (glossed) as "#IF"
This version is very common when proposing "if then" options.


NOTES:
IF-[conditional]: Suppose I sign, "TOMORROW RAIN? PICNIC CANCELLED."  During the "tomorrow rain" portion of the sentence I raise my eyebrows and tilt my head forward (yes/no question expression).  Then I nod my head once while signing "picnic cancel."   --This would be an example of an "implied if."  This "implied if" is based on a condition, (for example: rain).  If then condition is true, then the second part of the sentence will happen.

QUESTION: 
A student asks: Which version of the various "IF" signs would indicate a conditional situation? For example: "I will cook dinner IF you wash the dishes?"

ANSWER: I would use the "lexicalized" fingerspelling version "#IF."
Part 1, "I COOK DINNER"
Part 2: (eyebrows up, very slight head tilt) #IF (slight pause)
Part 3: (eyebrows return to normal) YOU WASH DISHES
Part 4 (At the very end raise your eyebrows again as if saying "Hmmmm?")


But there are other ways:

By using your head and face (nonmanual markers) as well as the syntax (word order) of your sentence, you can establish the concept of "if" without needing a separate sign.   "I will cook dinner IF you wash the dishes?"
Part 1, eyebrows up, very slight head tilt: YOU WASH DISHES (slight pause)
Part 2, eyebrows return to normal, head nods one or two times: "I COOK DINNER."

Part 1, eyebrows up, very slight head tilt: YOU WASH DISHES (slight pause)
Part 2, eyebrows return to normal, head nods one or two times: "I COOK DINNER."


Or you could use the SUPPOSE version of IF:
Part 1, eyebrows up, very slight head tilt: SUPPOSE YOU WASH DISHES? (slight pause)
Part 2, eyebrows return to normal, head nods one or two times: "I COOK DINNER."

 


Dr. Bill's new iPhone "Fingerspelling Practice" app is now available!   GET IT HERE!  


NEW!  Online "ASL Training Center!"  (Premium Subscription Version of ASLU)  ** CHECK IT OUT **


Also available: "ASLUniversity.com" (a mirror of Lifeprint.com less traffic, fast access)  ** VISIT NOW **

Want to help support Lifeprint / ASLU?  It's easy!     

You can learn sign language online at American Sign Language (ASL) University  
Sign language lessons and resources.  Dr. William Vicars Lifeprint.com

back.gif (1674 bytes)