ASL 2 – Unit 4
In this unit of the free American Sign Language instruction, you will be learning about temporal aspect.
If you are learning American Sign Language with a partner, practice this conversation together:
A: I am so sick of my neighbor’s dog barking all night everyday. It keeps waking me up.
B: Have you talked to them about it?
A: I wrote them a letter and left it with their mail two days ago. I haven’t heard back from them.
B: You should probably go talk to them about it in person.
A: I know, but they aren’t nice people.
B: If you don’t talk to them, you might have to just go out and buy earplugs.
A: Ha-ha. Very funny.
If you do not have a partner, practice signing with Mark! In the video below, Mark will be person B. Pause the video when prompted, and reply as person A.
Temporal aspect means showing how the verb is being done with relationship to time. You can inflect verbs to show if something is being done regularly, continually, repeatedly, or for an extended period of time.
You would use the following motions (and appropriate facial expressions) to show each:
- Regularly: Repeated straight line movement
- Continually: Repeated small circular movement
- Repeatedly: Repeated straight and circular movement
- For an extended period: Repeated large circular movement
For example, if you want to show that you study regularly, you would sign STUDY with a few straight movements toward your non-dominant hand with the appropriate facial expression. You would normally use this inflection if you are describing doing something frequently and its normal for you to do so.
EVERY-WEEK I (STUDY”regularly”)”cs”)
If you want to show that you studied continually, you would sign STUDY with a repeated circular movement and the appropriate facial expression. You would normally use this inflection if you are describing doing something over a period of time, but the duration isn’t too long for you.
TODAY I (STUDY”continually”)”mm”)
If you want to show that you study repeatedly, you would sign STUDY with a straight movement toward your non-dominant hand, pause, and then sign a circular movement back to sign the straight movement again. You would sign this using the appropriate facial expression as well. You would normally use this inflection if you are describing doing something over and over again, and this is something you are getting a bit tired of.
EVERY-WEEK I (STUDY”repeatedly”)”sta-sta-sta”)
If you want to show that you studied for a long period of time, you would sign STUDY with slow, long, circular movements with the appropriate facial expression. You would normally use this inflection if you are describing doing something for an extended period of time that usually wouldn’t take that long (and you might not enjoy).
TODAY I (STUDY”for a long time”)”cheeks puffed”)
In the video below, I will demonstrate these examples:
You would choose the inflection you use based on how you perceive the action. For example, one person might use the “long time” inflection for “wait for three hours” while someone else might use the “continually” inflection for that same sentence because three hours doesn’t seem that long to that person.
These inflections can also be, and commonly are, used with adjectives such as SICK and WRONG to indicate inflections such as “sick for a long time” and “make mistakes regularly.”
Temporal Aspect Practice 4.1
Turn to page 5 in your workbook. In the video below, I will sign 10 sentences. Each sentence includes a sign using temporal aspect. Circle the temporal aspect that is being used.
When you’re finished, check your answers in the back of the workbook. Go back and review the questions you missed.
Expression Assignment 2-1
To practice your expression skills, I want you to use your webcam (or a video camera) and sign three sentences. Within these sentences, you need to include a topicalized, rhetorical, or conditional sentence, one numeral time sign, one duration or regularity time sign, and one temporal sign. Then, go back and watch your video. This is a great way to practice your expression skills and be able to critique your own signing.
If you want more help, I highly suggest signing up for our paid online classes. In those classes, you can submit your video and get constructive assigned comments from other students.
Or, you can check out The Start ASL Tutoring Program. Personalized ASL tutoring is a great way to practice what you’ve learned. You can practice this assignment with an ASL tutor and get instant feedback! Book an appointment with The Start ASL Tutoring Program today!