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ASL Linguistics:  Noun / Verb Pairs

Noun/Verb pairs are signs that use the same handshape, location, and orientation, but have a different movement. The verb of a noun verb pair generally has a single, continuous movement that is larger than the movement of the noun.  The motion of a noun of a noun verb pair is generally a double movement that is smaller than that of a verb.

Got that? 
Verbs (of noun/verb pairs) use a single movement.
Nouns (of noun/verb pairs) use a double movement.
A good example of a noun verb pair is the "CHAIR/SIT."

If I do this motion once, it means sit.


If I do the movement twice, it means CHAIR.

But sometimes if I'm in a hurry I'll only do the movement once and my friends still understand me. Why? Because of context.  The rest of the sentence makes the meaning clear for me.

For more on this topic, see:  "Compounds"
 


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