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Basic Handshapes in American Sign Language

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 in baby sign language easier.

A Fist

A Fist

S Fist

S Fist

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Index

Index

Flat Hand

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Flat Hand

Open Hand

Open Hand

Curved Hand

Curved Hand

Bent Hand

Bent Hand

Claw

Claw

Flat O

Flat O

Modified C

Modified C

Bent V

Bent V

Cocked Index

Cocked Index

Horns

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

Written by Heather Johnson

Heather is a writer, librarian, linguist, wife, and mother who loves her husband, children, dogs, and cats. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in creative writing and master's degrees in library and information science and English studies with a concentration in linguistics.

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