Concepts back.gif (1674 bytes) grandma-grandpa


Note the right hand in the above next version of "SISTER."  It starts with a modified "G" handshape.  (The handshape is a cross between a "G" and an "L.")  The right hand changes to a normal "G" handshape as it moves downward. This is the version that I use:

Most ASL signers tend to do the sign "sister" starting with a modified "G" handshape (or "L" handshape) on the dominant hand that changes into a typical "G" handshape as it moves downward and makes contact with the non-dominant hand.

SISTER (version two)
Here is another sign for "sister" is made by first touching your cheek with the thumb of your right hand, as when signing "female." 

Next, bring both index fingers together in front of you. 

Note: The two index fingers together in this manner is the sign for "same," as in two females of the same family.

This is an interesting combination of the sign for "his-TURN" and "SISTER."  This is not a "well established" sign combination.  Some people know it, others don't.  I like the sign and I feel it is as good as any other sign or set of signs for this concept. The sign "TURN" can be used to indicate "next one over" as it is here:

Other methods of indicating "step" include fingerspelling it, or signing "false."

ADDITIONAL reading (not required)

In a message dated 1/18/2004 3:54:39 PM Pacific Standard Time, a student writes:
Hi Mr Vicars;
First let me say that I think you are a super person for sharing your gift of sign with people other than those that can afford expensive tuition for taking ASL courses! I am an Interpreting student at Columbus State Community College in Ohio. I am also the mother of a 25 year old Deaf son. I first learned Signed English, which is what I raised and taught my son to communicate with; he began attending the Ohio School for the Deaf at 13, where he of course became introduced to ASL. He has only recently (at my insistence) began using ASL when talking with me; because for so long I did not know ASL, but I did notice that sometimes when he was signing with friends or other Deaf people, it looked alot different than my signing, and I didn't always follow it! I am finally starting to think "visual" instead of word for word English signing, but I still find myself slipping into English in long conversations, but I'm working on that, and I now that I understand ASL better, I really think its a beautiful and intense (for lack of a better term) language.
I give your website info to anyone that expresses an interest in the language. I am taking the current quarter off due to some health issues, so I finally have the time to look closer at all the info. you cover, and go through the lessons. It is really helpful for me, I don't know how you have the time to keep up with all your endeavors, but I'm so grateful that some how you find the time to freely share your gift to the world!
That said, I'll get to the reason for this email. I was just browsing Lesson 2, I came across your sign for "Step Sister"; I have never seen this before, and I'm not quite sure about what your hands are doing in the first step where you said it represents "his turn". Could you possibly elaborate on the handshape and movement of this part, I get the ending "sister" shape/movement. I know the sign I use for "turn" is like a palm-down 'G' shape that twists clockwise into the basic 'G' shape; is this what you mean? As I said, I have never seen this nor any other version of a "step" sign added to a family category, other than "half", "not real" or fingerspelled S-T-E-P. So I'm quite curious, and excited to learn a new sign for this concept!
Get back to me when you have time, I know you must be busy! Thank you for sharing your wealth of information with me and everyone else! God Bless you!
Lynn Platt

Hi Lynn,
The movement in the "secondhand" or "turn" version of "step" in step sister is a cross between turning a screwdriver and casting a fishing line. The whole movement is fairly quick. The handshape is a relaxed "L" and/or "G."

Tip: think that the boy and girl come from the same family.
Concepts back.gif (1674 bytes) grandma-grandpa

All material copyright 1996 by Dr. William Vicars