2 Right or Left Hand?

English Notes
BSL Video

Right or Left hand?

When people sign, they normally use the hand they write with (the leading or dominant hand) a lot more than the other hand. So, right-handed signers will find it natural to use the right hand for leading with, and left-handed people will use the left. If you use both hands equally you must decide which hand you want to lead with and do not keep changing hands.

There are three main types of signs:

1. ONE-HANDED SIGNS

These are made using the leading hand, either in space or touching a part of the body

(except the other hand).

Examples: NAME, YOUR, WHAT.

2. TWO-HANDED SIGNS

a) Some two-handed signs are symmetrical. These symmetrical signs make equal use of both hands. The signs have the same hand shapes and move in the same way - either at the sametime or alternately.

Examples: WHERE, NOTHING, SIGN.

b) Some two-handed signs use the leading hand as dominant and the other hand is used as a base. The hand shapes of the two hands can be the same or different.

Examples: STAND, DOOR, WRITE.

3. MIXED SIGNS

These are compound signs in which a one-handed sign is joined to a two-handed sign, or vice-versa.

Example: EXCUSE ME

A one-handed sign may sometimes be made with both hands for emphasis or to give style. In descriptions, the signer may use his/her non-dominant hand more when placing people or objects in space.


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