Basic Handshapes in American Sign Language

Just as English uses basic sounds and letters to form words, American Sign Language uses basic handshapes. In addition to the handshapes of the manual alphabet, ASL also uses a number of other common handshapes. Learning the basic handshapes of ASL will make learning the signs for words and phrases easier.

A Fist

S Fist

Index

Flat Hand

Open Hand

Curved Hand

Bent Hand

Claw

Flat O

Modified C

Bent V

Cocked Index

Horns

References

American Sign Language: Handshapes: http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-layout/handshapes.htm
Thompson, Stacy A. 2005. Teach your tot to sign: The parents’ guide to American Sign Language. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press.

Image Credits

A Fist © 2012 Heather Johnson
S Fist © 2012 Heather Johnson
Index © 2012 Heather Johnson
Flat Hand © 2012 Heather Johnson
Open Hand © 2012 Heather Johnson
Curved Hand © 2012 Heather Johnson
Bent Hand © 2012 Heather Johnson
Claw © 2012 Heather Johnson
Flat O © 2012 Heather Johnson
Modified C © 2012 Heather Johnson
Bent V © 2012 Heather Johnson
Cocked Index © 2012 Heather Johnson
Horns © 2012 Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson is a mother, wife, writer, librarian, and linguist. She earned a BA in English studies with a minor in creative writing from Illinois State University in May 2007, an MS in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2009, and an MS in English studies with an emphasis in linguistics at Illinois State University in December 2011.

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