ASL 2 – Unit 6
In this unit of the free sign language lesson, you will be learning about pluralization.
If you are learning American Sign Language with a partner, practice this conversation together:
A: You wouldn’t believe what just happened!
B: What happened?
A: I was walking along the sidewalk when all of a sudden I saw a car swerve into the wrong lane and crash into another car head-on.
B: Oh that’s nothing. I was just walking over here when I tripped over a pole lying in the middle of the sidewalk and landed flat on my face.
A: Oh that’s where you got all those scratches!
B: Yes, that’s right.
If you do not have a partner, practice signing with Deborah! In the video below, Deborah will be person A. Pause the video when prompted, and reply as person B.
In English, nouns become plural with the “-s” or “-es” suffix. However, ASL does not have a sign for these English suffixes and it’s not always necessary.
For example, for the sentence, “How many cars do you have?” you would sign “HOW-MANY CAR YOU HAVE YOU?” The plural doesn’t matter.
However, if you want to emphasize a plural for sentences like, “I have two cars,” you have a few different options:
- Use repetition. For example, you would sign the word CANCEL a couple times to mean “cancellations.”
- Add a number to the sign. For example, signing “MAN FIVE” to mean “five men.”
- Use numeral incorporation. For example, signing WEEK with the 2-handshape to mean “two weeks.” You can also do this for signs like MONTH, YEAR, HOUR, etc.
- Add a quantifier sign like FEW, MANY, SOME, BOTH, etc. For example, signing “MAN MANY” to mean “many men.”
- Add a plural classifier. For example, signing MAN then the classifier for HORDES-OF to mean “hordes of men.”
- Use plural pronouns. For example, WE, ALL-OF-YOU, THEY, etc.
Pluralization Practice 6.1
Turn to page 7 in your workbook. In the video below, Christine will sign 10 sentences. For each sentence, determine what type of pluralization is used and write it on the line. These can be repetition, number sign, numeral incorporation, quantifier sign, plural classifier, or plural pronoun.
When you’re finished, check your answers in the back of the workbook. Go back and review the questions you missed.
Turn to page 7 in your workbook. The video below was used for the classifier example in the last unit. For each number, write the classifier handshape that was used and what it was used to describe. Don’t look at the last unit for clues.
Check your answers in the back of the workbook. Go back and review the questions you missed.
In DJSC! A Student’s Guide to Mastering ASL Grammar, read Chapter 6 (ASL Syntax), Section 6.5. (Nouns) and 6.5.1. (Pluralization). This section explains and demonstrates pluralization in ASL. This will be a good review of what you learned in this section.