18.1 Proform

English Notes
BSL Video


A “proform” is any form that stands in the place of, or does the job of, some other form, which is often a noun. The terms “proform” and “pronoun” may seem to mean the same, but we keep the term “pronoun” to mean I, you, he, she, it, we, them etc., and we use “proform” for a more specific type of BSL structure.

Understanding and using proforms in BSL is essential for the understanding of the syntax of BSL.

A proform is anything that refers to, and stands in the place of, something previously identified., usually a noun, for example:

CAR has a related proform (a ‘B’ hand) that is used to provide more information about the location of the car and the action it is involved in.

MAN has a related proform (a ‘G’ hand) that can be used to show the man walking away from or coming towards the signer etc.

CAT (‘G’, ‘V’ or ‘V^’, depending on the context) shows the cat running away.


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