ASL University ►

American Sign Language: "subscribe" or "SSI" or "welfare"-(version)

The sign for "subscribe" also means: "get regularly," "Supplemental Security Income" (SSI), and can be used to mean "on the dole" as in "on government assistance or welfare."

Sample sentence:
SOME DEAF SUBSCRIBE-[SSI] WHY? (Some Deaf receive Supplemental Security Income, why?)

The sign "SUBSCRIBE" starts as an "open X-(thumb extended)" and changes to a "closed X with a slightly tucked knuckle."  The sign begins with the thumb extended, then as the hand moves downward the thumb makes contacts with the middle knuckle of the index finger.


Memory aid:  Imagine "pulling paychecks out of the air." The movement is very much as if you were reaching up a bit and grabbing a bit of paper and pulling it down.

Here's a close-up of that handshape:

Animation:  "subscribe"


In a message dated 12/29/2008 6:10:23 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, kern@ writes:
Can u explain about Iterative verb inflections? As in the case of the iterative verb inflection for SUBSCRIBE, how does one differentiate between a noun, as in SUBSCRIPTION, and an iterative verb inflection for SUBSCRIBE? I apologize if this is a stupid question
~ Michelle Kern
   Central Minnesota
The noun "SUBSCRIPTION" uses a double movement. The verb "subscribe" or the verb phrase "to subscribe" each use a single movement.
Now, if you are wanting to understand the iterative verb form of subscribe as in "a continuously repeated action" you would do the sign SUBSCRIPTION still using the double movement but you would do the movements a bit larger with a slight hold in-between movements (iterations).  Thus the "iterative verb" is shown by signing the regular verb form twice.
A bit more discussion regarding this sign:  You will also see the use of an auxiliary verb such as "WILL" in combination with the noun "SUBSCRIPTION" to create "the phrase "I will get a subscription" which means in effect: "I will subscribe." 
Or you could sign "I NOT SUBSCRIBE" using a single downward pulling movement for the sign "SUBSCRIBE" which would be a "verb."
Variations on this theme:
Thus some ASL nouns fill the role of a verb not because of an inflection of the noun but by use of an auxiliary verb to create a verb phrase.
Dr. Bill

Want to help support ASL University?  It's easy DONATE (Thanks!)
(You don't need a PayPal account. Just look for the credit card logos and click continue.)

Another way to help is to buy Dr. Bill's "Superdisk."

Dr. Bill's new iPhone "Fingerspelling Practice" app is now available!   CHECK IT OUT >

Want even more ASL resources?  Visit the "ASL Training Center!"  (Subscription Extension of ASLU)   CHECK IT OUT >

Bandwidth slow?  Check out "" (a free mirror of less traffic, fast access)   VISIT >


You can learn American Sign Language (ASL) online at American Sign Language University    Dr. William Vicars

back.gif (1674 bytes)