American Sign Language: "how"
In a message dated 7/16/2003 1:23:17 AM Central Daylight Time, wsmather@____.net writes:
I can't find a good explanation for when it's appropriate to sign "how" twice. Rhetorical questions only? But I've seen it done in other situations not rhetorical.
Any help appreciated.
There is a variation of HOW that rolls one hand forward twice. Let's discuss this:
When compounds are made in ASL, internal movement or the repetition of movement is eliminated.
I see the single movement in circumstances where the concept of "how" is an integrated part of another concept:
Example: How are you? (common phrase)
Example: HOW-MUCH (HOW + "a lot" referring to volume)
Example: HOW-MANY (you actually drop the sign for HOW and just keep the furrowed eyebrow expression!)
I see the double movement used for rhetoricals and for one-word questions.
Example of a rhetorical: She passed her class! How? Paid the teacher.
Example of a one word question:
Signer A: ME PASS CLASS!
Signer B: HOW?!? (double movement)
Signer A: PAY TEACHER
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