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American Sign Language: "IF"
IF = SUPPOSE:
This version of "if" can mean "suppose" or "what if?" Tap the pinkie on your upper cheek twice. Do not brush it. Do not bend it. Just move it to your face, out, and back to your face again.
JUDGE / COURT / IF:
This version of the sign "IF" can mean such things as: court, judge, trial:
NOTE: To make this sign mean a judge (the person who presides in a courtroom) you would add the "person" sign.
NOTE: Another sign for a "judge" is to mime the rapping of a gavel. Use a fist hand (or modified "A" handshape) and do a double movement: rap rap).
NOTE: Example sentence: TOMORROW I NEED GO COURT, WHY-[rhet], FAST-[speeding] TICKET.
Lexicalized version of "IF"
Suppose I sign, "TOMORROW RAIN? PICNIC CANCELLED." During the "tomorrow rain" portion of the sentence I raise my eyebrows and tilt my head forward (yes/no question expression). Then I nod my head once while signing "picnic cancel." --This would be an example of an "implied if." This "implied if" is based on a condition, (for example: rain). If then condition is true, then the second part of the sentence will happen.
QUESTION: A student asks: Which version of the various "IF" signs would indicate a conditional situation? For example: "I will cook dinner IF you wash the dishes?"
ANSWER: By using your head and face (nonmanual markers) as well as the syntax (word order) of your sentence, you can establish the concept of "if" without needing a separate sign. "I will cook dinner IF you wash the dishes?"
Part 1, eyebrows up, very slight head tilt: YOU WASH DISHES (slight pause)
Part 2, eyebrows return to normal, head nods one or two times: "I COOK DINNER."
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Sign language lessons and resources. Dr. William Vicars © Lifeprint.com