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In a message dated 8/24/2006 6:04:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time, Bren writes:
How do you sign "juice"?  A co-worker of mine is trying to teach her hearing grandbaby. 
Bren :-)

If you are referring to "juice" in general--you sign a "J" right in front of the mouth using a double movement.
If you are referring to a certain type of juice you do a single movement of the "type" of juice and then the sign "drink" using a "C" handshape.  For example, usually the sign "orange" is done using a double movement as you change from a tight "C" hand into an "S" hand, back to a "C" and back to an "S."  When you do a compound sign however you will note that the movement of "ORANGE" is reduced to a single change from "C" to "S" and then continues on into the "DRINK" sign.

It is also permissible to sign "ORANGE" plus "JUICE" (using the "J" handshape for "juice.")
Grading notes:  As an ASL instructor I would not mark a student wrong for using a "J" handshape.  Nor would I mark the student wrong for using a double movement for the sign ORANGE as part of the compound sign "ORANGE-JUICE." But some instructors might, so it is always good to determine how strict your local instructor is regarding various signs.  Additionally, if I were taking an ASL proficiency examination I would reduce the use of any unnecessary initialization of signs. Which is to say, I'd do the ORANGE-DRINK version rather than the ORANGE-JUICE version.

Which brings up an interesting cross-cultural / interpreting issue.  Technically, an "orange drink" is nothing more than orange flavored sugar water.  If it is important to distinguish between actual "juice" and a "flavored drink" I would clarify by adding the "real/true/actual/sure" sign to "ORANGE" or by signing "ORANGE PUNCH" (dominant hand fist striking left index finger).  That leads to a completely different discussion of whether or not the sign "PUNCH" is appropriate to describe flavored sugar water.  As a lexicographer I'm simply going to state that I often see "PUNCH" being used that way by a variety of signers and thus it is indeed part of ASL lexicon.

-- Dr. Bill

American Sign Language University ASL resources by Dr. William Vicars
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