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American Sign Language:  "this"



Also see: INDEXING


A student asks:
What is the difference between THIS and the second version of HERE that points at the ground?

The one-handed version of HERE-[version-2]-[index-finger-handshape] looks and moves very much like the one-handed sign for THIS. Distinctions can include HERE-[version-2] will often tend to use a slight double movement. THIS will often be used to mean IT and point at an object if the object is in the signing space. Also, THIS sometimes will (rarely and not recommended -- but it can) use the non-dominant palm-up flat hand as a base for the dominant index finger.
The above distinctions aside, the two signs are the same.

An interesting note about those signs (HERE-vesion-2/THIS) is that most signers "think" the handshape is an index finger but what often happens during typical signing is when they bend their wrist to point downward the index finger turns into a downward pointing "G" hand due to the tendons in the wrist pulling on the thumb. Of course this handshape change (or not) varies from person to person depending on the flexibility of their hands.

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