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American Sign Language: "toy" or "toys"

The concept of "toy" is generally fingerspelled.
Some people (mostly Hearing people, not familiar with native Deaf households) think that little children wouldn't understand the fingerspelled word "toy," but that isn't true. To young children the fingerspelled word toy looks like any other sign.  The child isn't "reading" the letters, T-O-Y, but rather he or she is seeing a "sign." An 18 month old recognizes the fingerspelled word "toy" using the same process he or she recognizes other signs.  The fingerspelled concept of T-O-Y has a beginning handshape, (a transitionary middle handshape), an ending handshape, a particular movement, and a regular location. 

Some people choose to initialize the sign PLAY with the letter 'T."  While I don't recommend you sign "toy" that way, I think it is good to be "aware" that some Deaf people do it that way. (For example, if you are an Interpreter for the Deaf and one of your clients uses that sign you need to recognize that they aren't doing a two handed "bathroom" sign, but rather they are using the "Signed English version of "toy" by initializing the sign PLAY with a "T" handshape.



Also see: PLAY:

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