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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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Glossing

Glossing

What is it?


  • Historically there was no writtenform for ASL.

  • Only recently has ASL become a written language, though this system has not yet gained acceptance with all signers.

  • Since ASL is not written, Deaf people have relied on the writtenformats of the spoken languages used around them.

  • A Deaf person in the United States signs in ASL but writes in English.


  • 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.

  • Using one language to write another has its limitations but doing so can be a quick way to convey concepts.

  • The first step is translating each sign into an English equivalent.


  • ASL Gloss:

    • YOU NAME WHAT YOU?

  • Each glossed word is always written in capitalized letters.


  • You do
    YOU DO… teachers and researchers to

    • Practice glossing one-word glosses:

      • Hello

      • Yes

      • Name

      • Tired

      • Deaf

      • Nice

      • Understand

      • Friend

      • Fine

      • Good


    • Many signs teachers and researchers to can’t be glossed using just one English word. Use hyphens between each segment to show a single concept.

      • Example: GIVE-ME

      • Example: DON’T-KNOW


    You do1
    You Do… teachers and researchers to

    • Practice glossing the signed words


    • Before glossing a teachers and researchers to fingerspelled word you will write “fs-” you capitalize the fingerspelled term but not the “fs-”

      • Example: fs-BUS

      • Example: fs-JOHN


    • Using the index finger to point to a teachers and researchers to person, place, or thing is called deixis.

    • Abbreviate this with IX, and follow with another gloss or name of person to whom you are pointing.

    • You can also add he, she, or it in lower-case letters after IX.

      • Example: IX-Mom

      • Example: IX-he

      • Example: IX-fs-JILL


    You do2
    You Do… teachers and researchers to

    • Practice signing the following glosses:

      • ME NAME fs-SARA. IX-he NAME fs-SEAN IX-he.

      • IX-she LEARN SIGN-LANGUAGE IX-she.

      • IX-he WANT MEET YOU

      • IX LAST NAME fs-COOPER IX.

      • fs-MARC DEAF. IX-he MY FRIEND IX-he.

      • IX-she NAME fs-TARA IX-she.

      • IX HARD-OF-HEARING IX.

      • IX-he BUSY IX-he.

      • IX-she NAME fs-RITA IX-she.

      • IX SICK IX.


    You do3
    You Do… teachers and researchers to

    • Practice glossing the following sentences.

      • He is Deaf.

      • She is Mary

      • He is confused.

      • She is Kelly.

      • He is hearing.


    • Glossing teachers and researchers to classifiers requires two parts. Gloss the classifier with “CL:” then add the concept described by the classifier in English.

      • Example: CL :Bent V “person sitting down”


    You do4
    You Do… teachers and researchers to

    • Practice glossing the following.

      • Motorcycle on a bumpy road.

      • Walking upstairs

      • Yesterday you got in a car accident

      • Walking away

      • Two people walking towards you.



    We do
    We Do… teachers and researchers to

    • Possessive signs like his, hers, its, and theirs have “POSS-” written before the sign.

      • Example: POSS-hers

      • Her book.

      • My favorite

      • His birthday is in February

      • Is this water yours?


    • Non-manual signals teachers and researchers to formed by the eyebrows, head, and lips must be included.

    • First, draw a line above the glossed sentence, followed by specific descriptions for the non-manual signal written above the glossed term that uses the NMS.

      ___confused___

      • Example: ME DON’T-KNOW



    You do5
    You Do… WH-Face or the Question Maker, write the NMS at the

    • Practice glossing WH Questions:

      • Where?

      • What?

      • You live where?

      • Who?

      • You?


    • Raising they eyebrows to ask a WH-Face or the Question Maker, write the NMS at the yes/no question is written with a q over the gloss.

      _q_

    • Example: YOU

    • WH questions are shown by writing wh or whq over the gloss.

      _whq_

      • Example: WHERE

    • Write above the gloss the word mouthed by the lips for signs that have non-manual signals attached to them.

      __cha__

      • Example: CL:CLAW


    We do1
    We Do… WH-Face or the Question Maker, write the NMS at the

    • Gloss the following adding Non-Manual Signals

      • Don’t

      • Don’t Understand

      • Hi

      • Mad

      • Question

      • Yes

      • Nice to meet you

      • Are you Kris?


    You do6
    You Do… WH-Face or the Question Maker, write the NMS at the

    • Insert the appropriate Non-Manual Signals into each glossed sentence:

      • WEEKEND DO-DO YOU?

      • YOU fs-CHRIS HUH?

      • TURN-OFF-VOICE

      • NO ME-NOT HEARING ME-NOT

      • YOU HUNGRY HUH?


    • Use the WH-Face or the Question Maker, write the NMS at the ++ symbol for the signs that are repeated or show a recurring action.

      • Example: MEET-MANY-PEOPLE++

  • Approach glossing as a labeling exercise: Label only what is signed and its corresponding non-manual signals.

  • Avoid adding English words that are not signed, like is and are.