Alternate holding up one "A" hand, and then the other.
"When asking a question " Do you want milk, juice?" Instead of a body shift
to show "or," could you ask "which one"? I've seen "Do you want red or
green, which one? " Is that correct?"
Just as there are multiple "right" ways to ask a question in English, there
are likewise multiple right ways to ask a question in ASL.
Your signing choices depend on whether you wish to be succinct or verbose.
Succinct = brief and clear.
Verbose = "using more words (or signs) than are needed."
If we sign: "YOU WANT MILK OR-[bodyshift] JUICE?" the bodyshift can be very
small and start half-way through your sign for milk and end half way through
your sign for juice -- thus taking up almost no time at all. When we add
"furrowed eyebrows" near the end of the sentence the furrowed eyebrows
convey the meaning of "which."
You can choose to sign in a succinct manner by
not adding the sign "WHICH" since you have
already expressed the concept of "which" via your furrowed eyebrows. You
can choose to sign in a verbose manner by adding the signs "WHICH ONE" at
the end of your sentence -- but you should still furrow your eyebrows
since you are asking a "WH"-type question.
If you sign the question with raised eyebrows while signing both the
sign MILK and the sign JUICE you are in effect asking two questions -- both
of which are yes/no-type questions:
Do you want milk?
Do you want juice?
If you use a yes/no-question approach it puts responsibility on your
conversation partner to respond by signing one of the two options (or using
the sign "BOTH" if he/she is a pig).
- Dr. Bill
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