Glossary

Affixes

A bound morphological unit (one that cannot stand on its own) that modifies the meaning of a specific word class. For example, the sign "WORK" can add a repeated circular motion to indicate "WORK-continuously."

ASL literature (or ASL lit)

A collection of texts (e.g., poetry, stories, essays, plays) in ASL. ASL literature is broader than Deaf literature and can include Deaf literature if it is signed in ASL. ASL literature does not necessarily always include Deaf literature (experience, culture).

Author

To be the originator of, or to create, as in "Ben Bahan is the author of Bird of a Different Feather." (Not to be confused with signer.)

Chaining

An ASL and/or bilingual discourse strategy to introduce new vocabulary through a combination of sign, fingerspelling, the printed English word, physical action, role playing, and/or multimedia. The following is an example of chaining: sign + fingerspelling + role playing + printed word - "(DOG) (D-O-G) (acts like a dog) (points to printed word "dog"). The major difference between chaining and sandwiching is that chaining does not repeat whereas sandwiching must have a repetition of the initial medium (if it starts with fs-D-O-G, it must end with fs-D-O-G). See also sandwiching.

Cinematography

The study of the art form in composition that draws inspiration from film techniques (e.g., close-up, cutaway, point of view) to aid in enhancing the overall presentation.

Classifiers

Designated handshapes used to represent nouns and verbs that are associated with specific categories (classes), such as size, shape, usage, or meaning (e.g., descriptive, body, semantic, element).

Composition

The act of composing or creating works in ASL incorporating different genres and purposes on videotext (or text), such as poetry, lists, news, reports, and video essays.

Compound signs

A sign that results from combining two independent signs to generate a new meaning. For example, "BREAKFAST" is a result of combining "EAT" and "MORNING," but its realized form results in reduced articulation.

Comprehension

The act of grasping the nature, significance, or meaning of text.

Deaf

This includes children of all hearing levels (i.e., profound, severe, moderate, mild) and children who use assistive listening devices, such as hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Deaf literature (or Deaf lit)

A collection of English and ASL, such as printed writings, and video published text such as poetry, stories, essays, and plays that reflect a Deaf culture and Deaf experience. Some people consider Deaf literature to include all genres of both ASL literature and written English literature about the deaf/Deaf experience, so a distinction may be made to specify this collection of English writings as "Deaf English literature" and ASL video publication as "Deaf ASL literature."

Depiction

An alternate term for the category used to describe role-shifting and/or body classifiers.

Etymology

The study of the origin of signs and how their meanings may or may not have changed.

Fingerreading

The act of receiving (or comprehending) a fingerspelled word (C-A-T) or lexicalized sign (#B-A-N-K). See also word and sign.

Fingerspelling

The act of producing or creating a word or other expression by rendering its written form letter by letter in a manual alphabet. See also word.

Fluency

The ability to use expressive ASL easily and effectively.

Literary device

A literary or linguistic form, method, or technique (e.g., alliteration, analogy, hyperbole, metaphor, personification, simile, symbolism) an author uses to produce a special effect in text.

Literary technique

An individual approach to composition that is characterized by consistent styles, choices, and applications resulting in a distinct (and often recognizable) type.

Morphology

A morpheme is identified as the minimal unit of meaning within a sign. Typically in a signed language we see root morphemes that can be modified with an affix (e.g., change in movement) to change its meaning. Also, classifiers are part of the morphological system.

Phonology

A phoneme is the smallest unit of a sign that involves the parameters of handshape, location, movement, palm orientation, each of which do not typically carry meaning on their own. Understanding how signs are "built" from parts (or parameters) means one possesses a phonological rule system for that language.

Prepositions

A linguistic device that highlights the relative relationship between two or more objects or ideas.

Production

The act of producing or creating works in ASL incorporating different genres and purposes on videotext (or text), such as announcements, poetry, lists, news, reports, short stories, and video essays.

Pronouns

Signs that function as a substitute for nouns or noun phrases (singular vs. plural, semantic vs. modified); most often seen as a deictic point to a spatial location that has been established to refer to the noun or noun phrase.

Publish or published

Use of published in ASL refers to any media that is compressed and edited via video software (e.g., QuickTime, YouTube, etc.). It is not to be confused with published usage in English referring to written work on paper or printed.

References

A source of information (e.g., dictionary, verified guidelines, glossary, appendices) to ascertain something; can also be used to provide citations.

Referents

A person or thing to which a linguistic expression refers.

Sandwiching

An ASL discourse strategy to introduce new vocabulary through a combination of sign and fingerspelling. The following are examples of sandwiching: sign + fingerspelling + sign - "(THEORY) (T-H-E-O-R-Y) (THEORY)"; sign + fingerspelling - "(DEAF) (D-E-A-F)." See also chaining.

Sign

In lieu of word. A unit of productive sign language that uses the minimum number of parameters (or fingerspelling) that symbolizes and communicates meaning. Signs may consist of a single morpheme or of a combination of morphemes. Refers to sign languages. See also  word.

Signer

A person who signs a text; not always the author. (Not to be confused with author.)

Socio-cultural awareness

Explicit knowledge of the unique cultural practices of a community (including linguistic and pragmatic orientations).

Syntax

The rules of a language (e.g., ASL) that determine the order of signs in a sentence.

Text

Any set of coherent symbols (e.g., words, signs, hieroglyphs) that can be "read." Text refers to the content of a particular piece of composition regardless of modality. Live or published signed presentation is considered text.

Transition

In video editing, a feature that precedes, links, or follows individual video clips. Transitions can carry meaning, including signaling the beginning, continuation, or ending of videotexts. Transitions can be marked by nuances in body language (e.g., head nod, pauses) and/or signs (e.g., THAT, IF-IF, THERFORE, THEN, NEXT).

Word

In lieu of sign. A sound or combination of sounds, or its/their representation in reading or writing, that symbolizes and communicates a meaning and may consist of a single morpheme or a combination of morphemes. Refers to written or spoken languages. See also sign.