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food: The ASL sign for "food"


FOOD (single movement version / high context version)



"In real life" as signed by Deaf native or "near native" signers -- the concept of "food" is often signed with "one movement."

Yes, yes, I know that many ASL 1 students have been taught by their ASL 1 instructors to do FOOD with two movements.

Yes, yes, I know many Deaf Studies majors have been taught by their linguistics instructors that nouns of noun / verb pairs are typically done with a repeated movement and verbs are done with a single movement.

"In real life" however -- it is *very* common to see FOOD signed with a single movement.

It is so common that I would suggest to you that an ASL teacher should "not" mark a student wrong for signing FOOD with a single movement.

Double movement signing of the concept "food" would tend to show up in "teacher-talk," "motherese," "novice-signing," "citation forms in dictionaries or curricula," "in low-context situations," in sentences involving both the concept "food" and the concept "eat," and on the hands of "people who have taken ASL linguistics classes." (Heh.)

An example of when the sign FOOD might be done with a single movement is when it is signed at high speed as part of a list of other items. Suppose you were to see a person sign:

Tomorrow there will be will music, discussion, food and activities.

Chances are that he / she / they would do the sign FOOD in that sentence with a single movement.

Another example is when it is signed at high speed in a phrase such as "... good food..." or "Thai food."


I'll provide here a few links to examples of FOOD with a single movement:

"...But providing food isn't the..."

" reform, and food access."

"...more than my necessary food."

"...a place to sleep, food, and security."

If someone wanted to argue the point I could provide a hundred more such links showing FOOD done with a single movement.


Also see: "EAT"

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