Appendix:Sign language handshapes

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

In hold-move charts, sign language hand configurations are specified in separate attributes for the forearm, the fingers, and the thumb. In entry pagenames, there are two types of handshape specifications. One type is used in entry pagenames for select handshapes with common names. The other type of handshape specification in entry pagenames is a simplified version of the system used in hold-move charts, used when (a) the list below does not include the handshape or (b) the sign language for the entry does not align well with the list of common handshape names below.

Select handshapes
In entry pagenames In hold-move charts Description Image Index of signs and examples
1 1o-f The ASL “1” handshape. Only the index finger is extended, the other fingers curled into a fist. The thumb is opposed and closed so the thumb pad restrains the middle finger. LSQ 1.jpg Index of ASL signs: “1”
3 Vu The ASL “3” handshape. The thumb is extended. The index finger and middle finger are extended and spread apart. The other fingers are closed to the palm. LSQ 3.jpg Index of ASL signs: “3”
Bent3 V"~u" The ASL “Bent 3” handshape. The thumb is extended, the index and middle fingers are hooked by extending the proximal/base joints but bending the medial and distal joints, and the other fingers are curled into a fist. Bent3@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Bent 3”
4 4o- The ASL “4” handshape. All four fingers are extended and spread apart. The thumb is opposed and closed to the palm. LSQ 4.jpg Index of ASL signs: “4”
5 4u The ASL “5” handshape. All four fingers are extended and spread apart. The thumb is unopposed and extended. LSQ 5.jpg Index of ASL signs: “5”
Claw5 4~u The ASL “Claw 5” (a.k.a. “Bent 5”, “Curved 5”) handshape. All fingers and the thumb are spread and slightly bent at each joint to form the shape of a claw. Also known as the “clawed E” and “clawed hand”. Claw5@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Claw 5”
6 6o^f The ASL “6” or “W” handshape. The little finger is closed, the other fingers extended and spread apart. The thumb is opposed and bent across the palm, restraining the fingernail of the little finger. Sign language W.svg Index of ASL signs: “6”
7 7o^f The ASL “7” handshape. The ring finger is closed, the other fingers extended and spread apart. The thumb is opposed and bent across the palm, restraining the fingernail of the ring finger. LSQ 7.jpg Index of ASL signs: “7”
8 8o^f The ASL “8” handshape. The middle finger is closed, the other fingers extended and spread apart. The thumb is opposed and bent across the palm, restraining the fingernail of the middle finger. LSQ 8.jpg Index of ASL signs: “8”
Open8 8^u The ASL “open 8” handshape. The fingers and thumb are spread with the middle finger bent at the base joint and all other fingers extended. Open8@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Open 8”
9 9o^f The ASL “9” handshape, also known as the ASL “F” handshape. The tip of the thumb touches the tip of index finger, forming a loop. The other fingers are extended and spread. LSQ 9.jpg Index of ASL signs: “9”
Flat9 9op The “flat 9” or “flat F” handshape. The pad of the thumb touches the pad of index finger, forming a long tear-drop shape. The other fingers are extended and spread. Flat9@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Flat 9”
A Au^ The ASL “A” handshape. The fingers are together and curled into a fist. The thumb is unopposed but closed against the radial edge of the index finger. Sign language A.svg Index of ASL signs: “A”
OpenA Au The “Open A” handshape. The fingers are together and curled into a fist. The thumb is extended out on the plane of the palm. OpenA@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Open A”
B Bo- The ASL “B” handshape. The fingers are together and extended to form a flat plane with the palm. The thumb is tucked in against the palm. Sign language B.svg Index of ASL signs: “B”
BentB B^u The “Bent B” (or “Bent Hand”) handshape, also known as the “bent hand”. The fingers are together and bent at the base but otherwise extended. The thumb is flat along the radial edge of the hand. BentB@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Bent B”
FlatB Bu^ The “Flat B” handshape. All four fingers are extended and together and the thumb is flat against the radial edge of the hand. This shape is also known as the “flat hand”. FlatB@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Flat B”
OpenB Bu The “Open B” (or “Open Hand”) handshape. All four fingers are extended and together and the thumb is extended to make a flat hand with a gap between the thumb and the edge of the hand. This shape is also known as “extended B”, “open hand”, and “closed 5”. OpenB@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Open B”
C B~o The ASL “C” handshape. The fingers are together and curved. The thumb is opposed and curved so the thumb and index finger resemble the letter C. Sign language C.svg Index of ASL signs: “C”
FlatC B^o The “Flat C” handshape. The fingers are together and partially bent from the palm at the base joint but otherwise extended, and the thumb is opposed and parallel with the fingers. FlatC@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Flat C”
SmallC 1~o The “Small C”, “Reduced C”, or “Bent L” handshape (but note that “Bent L” may also be used to mean the shaped described as “Open X”). The thumb is opposed, the index finger and thumb loosely bent to form the shape of the letter C, but the other fingers are closed into a fist. SmallC@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Small C”
D Dot The ASL “D” handshape. The index finger is extended, the thumb opposed and partially bent, the other fingers together and partially bent such that the tip of the middle finger touches the tip of the thumb. Sign language D.svg Index of ASL signs: “D”
E B"o- The ASL “E” handshape. All four fingers are bent and hooked, with the thumb opposed and fully closed so that its length touches the fingernails of the other fingers. Sign language E.svg Index of ASL signs: “E”
G 1^o The ASL “G” handshape, also known as the ASL “Q” handshape. The index finger is bent at the base joint but otherwise extended, the thumb is rotated outward from the palm at the base and extended so that it is parallel with the index finger, and the other three fingers are curled into the palm. Sign language Q.svg Index of ASL signs: “G”
H Ho-f The ASL “H” handshape, also known as the ASL “U” handshape. The index and middle fingers are extended and together, and the other fingers and thumb are curled into a fist. Sign language H.svg Index of ASL signs: “H”
I Io-f The ASL “I” handshape. The little finger is extended, the other fingers are closed against the palm, and the thumb is closed against the index finger. Sign language I.svg Index of ASL signs: “I”
K Ko^ The ASL “K” handshape, also known as the ASL “P” handshape. The index finger is fully extended, the middle finger is bent at the base but otherwise extended to a right angle with the index finger, the thumb is against the side of the middle finger, and the other fingers are curled to the palm. LSQ k.jpg Index of ASL signs: “K”
L 1u The ASL “L” handshape. The index finger is extended, the other fingers are curled into the palm, and the thumb is extended outward, flat with the palm. Sign language L.svg Index of ASL signs: “L”
M Mo^ The ASL “M” handshape. The fingers are curled into a fist, with the thumb under the index, middle, and ring finger, so that the thumb tip protrudes between the ring finger and the little finger. Sign language M.svg Index of ASL signs: “M”
OpenM W^o-f The “Open M” handshape. The pinky is closed, the thumb is closed over the pinky, and the index, middle, and ring fingers are together and angled at the knuckle, touching the thumb. OpenM@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Open M”
N No^ The ASL “N” handshape. The fingers are curled into a fist, with the thumb under the index and middle fingers, so that the thumb tip protrudes between the middle finger and the ring finger) Sign language N.svg Index of ASL signs: “N”
OpenN H^o-f The “Open N” handshape. The pinky and ring fingers are closed with the thumb closed over them and the index and middle fingers are together and angled at the knuckle, touching the thumb. OpenN@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Open N”
O B~oc The ASL “O” handshape. The fingers are extended, together, and curled and the tip of the thumb is touching the tip of the index and middle fingers to form a circle. Sign language O.svg Index of ASL signs: “O”
FlatO B^op The “Flat O” or “And” handshape. All four fingers are together and bent at the base joint but otherwise straight, the thumb is opposed and extended, the thumb pad touching the pads of the index finger and middle finger. FlatO@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Flat O”
SmallO 1"~ot The “Small O”, “Reduced O”, “Closed X”, or “Modified X” handshape. The pad of the index finger touches the tip of the thumb to form a circle. The other fingers are curled into a fist. SmallO@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Small O”
R Ro-f The ASL “R” handshape. The index and middle fingers are extended and crossed so the middle finger wraps behind the index finger, and the other fingers and thumb are curled into a fist. Sign language R.svg Index of ASL signs: “R”
S So- The ASL “S” handshape. The fingers are together and curled into a fist, and the thumb is opposed, its pad restraining the back of the index and middle fingers. Sign language S.svg Index of ASL signs: “S”
T To^ The ASL “T” handshape. The fingers are curled into a fist, with the thumb under the index finger, so that the thumb tip protrudes between the index finger and the middle finger. Sign language T.svg Index of ASL signs: “T”
V Vo-f The ASL “V” or “2” handshape. The index and middle fingers are extended and spread apart, while the other fingers and thumb are curled into a fist. Sign language V.svg Index of ASL signs: “V”
BentV V"~o-f The “Bent V” (a.k.a. “double X”) handshape. The index and middle fingers are hooked by extending the proximal/base joints but bending the medial and distal joints, and the other fingers and thumb are curled into a fist. BentV@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Bent V”
X 1"~o-f The ASL “X” handshape. The index finger is loosely hooked by extending the base joint but partially bending the medial and distal joints, and the other fingers and thumb are curled into a fist. Note: This handshape may be produced with the thumb restraining the fingers (as in “S”) or with the thumb cocooned by the other fingers (as in “M”). The picture depicts the latter. Sign language X.svg Index of ASL signs: “X”
OpenX 1"~o The “Open X” handshape. The index finger is loosely hooked by extending the base joint but partially bending the medial and distal joints, the other fingers are curled into a fist, and the thumb is unopposed and extended. OpenX@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Open X”
Y Yu The ASL “Y” handshape. The thumb and little finger are extended wide, and the other fingers are closed against the palm. Sign language Y.svg Index of ASL signs: “Y”
ILY yu The ASL “I/L/Y” handshape (so named because it is an assimilation of the ASL 'I', 'L', and 'Y' handshapes). The index finger and little finger are extended and slightly spread, the other fingers are closed to the palm, and the thumb is unopposed and extended. ILY@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “ILY”
Corna =o-f The “Corna” handshape. The index finger and little finger are extended to resemble parallel horns, the other fingers are closed to the palm, and the thumb is tucked over the closed fingers. Corna@InForward.jpg Index of ASL signs: “Corna”

In hold-move charts, and for entry pagenames for signs with handshapes other than those described above, a detailed hand configuration is given as follows.

Forearm involvement: Most hand configurations use only the hand, but some use the forearm as well, e.g. ALL-DAY. This attribute is shown in hold-move charts but it is omitted from entry pagenames.

The configuration of the fingers is specified by an attribute for the handshape, “2nd finger” attributes, and a lax attribute. The value of Handshape indicates which of the four fingers are extended and retracted.

Detailed finger specification
Value Index
Location
Description Examples
A A Four fingers closed, pads contact palm. Au^ (ASL 'A'), Au (“open A”)
S S Four fingers closed, tips contact palm So- (ASL 'S')
1 1 Index finger extended, others closed 1o-f (ASL '1', ASL 'Z'), 1~o (“small C”), 1^o (ASL 'G'), 1u (ASL 'L'), 1"~ot (“small O”), 1"~o-f (ASL 'X'), 1"~o (“open X”), 1"~o^ (“modified X”)
 ! ? Middle finger extended, others closed
I I Little finger extended, others closed Io-f (ASL 'I', ASL 'J')
Y Y Little finger extended and spread, others closed Yu (ASL 'Y')
= Corna Index finger and little finger extended and parallel, others closed =o-f (“corna”)
y ILY Index finger and little finger extended and spread, others closed [1] yu (“I/L/Y”)
H H Index finger and middle finger extended and together, others closed Ho-f (ASL 'H', ASL 'U'), H^o-f (“open N”)
V V Index finger and middle finger extended and spread, others closed Vo-f (ASL 'V', ASL '2'), V"~u" (“bent 3”)
K K Index finger extended, middle finger partly open, other fingers closed Ko^ (ASL 'K', ASL 'P')
D D Index finger extended, all others partly open Dot (ASL 'D')
R R Index finger and middle finger crossed, others closed Ro-f (ASL 'R')
r R Middle finger extended, index finger partly open and crossed under middle finger, others closed
W OpenM All fingers extended and together except for closed little finger (pinky) W^o-f (“open M”)
6 6 All fingers extended and spread except for closed little finger (pinky) 6o^f (ASL '6', ASL 'W')
7 7 All fingers extended and spread except for closed ring finger 7o^f (ASL '7')
8 8 All fingers extended and spread except for closed middle finger 8o^f (ASL '8')
F 9 All fingers extended and together (not spread) except for closed index finger
9 9 All fingers extended and spread except for closed index finger 9o^f (ASL '9', ASL 'F')
B B All four fingers extended and together Bo- (ASL 'B'), B^u (“bent B”), Bu^ (“flat B”), Bu (“open B”), B~o (ASL 'C'), B^o (“flat C”), B"o- (ASL 'E'), B~oc (ASL 'O'), B^op (“flat O”)
4 4 All four fingers extended and spread 4o^ (ASL '4'), 4u (ASL '5')
T T All four fingers closed, index finger spread by thumb To^ (ASL 'T')
N N All four fingers closed, middle finger spread from ring finger by thumb No^ (ASL 'N')
M M All four fingers closed, fing finger spread from little finger (pinky) by thumb Mo^ (ASL 'M')

The finger shape attribute can be modifed by appending any of the following attributes:

Modifiers for 2nd finger and lax
Value Description Examples
The absense of any 2nd finger or lax attributes indicates that the fingers have the fully extended or retracted configurations indicated by the handshape attribute.
" Hooked. The extended fingers are retracted at the distal interphalangeal joints (and typically also at the proximal interphalangeal joint) to form a hook. 1"~o-f (ASL 'X'), 1"o-f (the tight handshape at the end of ASL 'ASK')
^ Bent, flattened. The fingers that are extended are are retracted (bent) only at the base (a.k.a. metacarpophalangeal or proximal) joint, the joint that attaches the finger to the palm. B^u (“bent B” with thumb out), B^o- (“flattened O”)
~ The fingers are lax, i.e. the extensions and closings of all fingers are lax at all joints. In a lax handshape, each normally extended joint in each finger is slightly flexed and each normally flexed joint is slightly extended. It has a less rigid shape than the corresponding non-lax shape. B~o (ASL 'C')

The final set of hand configuration attributes specifies the rotation and configuration of the thumb. Unlike the fingers, the thumb can be unopposed or opposed. Like the fingers, the thumb can also be bent at the proximal joint, hooked at the distal joint, or closed at both joints.

Handshape thumb rotation and flex
Value Description Examples
u The thumb is in an unopposed rotation and fully extended, leaving the palm flat.
u- The thumb is unopposed and fully closed, with the palm nearly flat, the thumb pad facing down toward the wrist.
u^ The thumb is unopposed and bent at the proximal joint, with the palm flat, the thumb against the radial edge of the palm.
u" The thumb is unopposed and hooked, forming a gap between the thumb pad and the edge of the palm.
o The thumb is in an opposed rotation and fully extended, with the joint near the wrist flexed so that the thumb base draws inward to make a valley in the palm and the thumb tip may easily contact the tip of any finger.
o- The thumb is in an opposed rotation and fully closed, pressing against the palm or against any closed the fingers, the thumb pad facing toward the wrist.
o^ The thumb is opposed and bent at the proximal joint, forming a valley in the palm, the thumb pointing diagonally across the hand, to the base of the little finger.
o" The thumb is opposed and hooked, forming a valley in the palm and an open space between the thumb pad and the palm.

If the thumb is in contact with any fingers, it can occur in four different ways:

Handshape thumb contact
Value Description Examples
c The thumb tip contacts a finger tip of the same hand.
p The thumb pad contacts the finger pad or the inside or radial side of a finger of the same hand.
f The thumb restrains one or more fingers of the same hand by holding the fingernails or the backs of the fingers.
t The thumbnail or back of the thumb is restrained by the pad of a finger of the same hand.
  1. ^ Liddell and Johnson use the symbol ">", which cannot be used in Wiktionary entry titles for technical reasons.