Glossing. What is it?. Historically there was no written form for ASL. Only recently has ASL become a written language, though this system has not yet gained acceptance with all signers.
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What is it?
Over the years a written system has been developed by ASL teachers and researchers to translate signs into a basic form of English, this system is called glossing.
Many signs can’t be glossed using just one English word. Use hyphens between each segment to show a single concept.
Before glossing a fingerspelled word you will write “fs-” you capitalize the fingerspelled term but not the “fs-”
Using the index finger to point to a person, place, or thing is called deixis.
Glossing classifiers requires two parts. Gloss the classifier with “CL:” then add the concept described by the classifier in English.
When there are two or more parts to a single sign, use a + between each sign.
Non-manual signals formed by the eyebrows, head, and lips must be included.
When the same NMS is used throughout a sentence, such as the WH-Face or the Question Maker, write the NMS at the beginning and end of the sentence.
Raising they eyebrows to ask a yes/no question is written with a q over the gloss.
Use the ++ symbol for the signs that are repeated or show a recurring action.