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American Sign Language: "method"


The concept of "method" can be expressed using the TECHNICAL sign.
The right hand is in a "five" handshape with the middle finger bent forward at the knuckle.
The tip of the right middle finger jabs the pinkie edge of the left hand. Repeat.

TECHNICAL: method / technology / technique


Another way to express the concept of "method" is to use the "way-(STREET)" sign. The "way" sign is sometimes used to mean "method" because a "method" is a "way" of doing something.
See: WAY
See: TECHNICAL



QUESTION:

Ilah from Long Beach California writes,

Dr. Bill,
I was going over your website, (very informative, thank you for creating it) I teach a high school ASL class for the student's "foreign language" credit. This is our school's first year teaching ASL and not Spanish. I hope to expand it, we'll see.
And I am always searching for something that will assist these precious darlings (9th and 10th grade) to "get it."
I am reviewing your short video vocab on ASL U and I have learned a few new signs I didn't know before or have forgotten about.
So, when i saw HOW you signed "method" -- I was wondering if there is a reason. I sign 'technology" similar but instead of horizontal, my supporting hand (left for me) is vertical.
I was just wondering the sign "method" had some kind of meaning as to why it is signed that way?
I hope this makes sense ...
Thanks
- Ilah

ANSWER:

Ilah,
The sign that we typically gloss as "TECHNICAL" is also commonly used to mean: technology, technique, method, and (sometimes) "mode."
As to why "method" uses the same sign as technical anything I tell you would only be speculation but my speculation is that "method" sort of overlaps with the meaning of "technique" and thus over time the sign TECHNICAL has expanded its semantic range to include "method."
- Dr. Bill
 


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