The first kind is agreement verbs. For example, with CAR-BUY we sign enthusiastically and showing interest and excitement; in contrast, we could sign it with negative NMF showing trepidation, or anxiety as the auction heats up until finally your bid is accepted and you’ve bought the car! Maybe you are buying two cars at the same time, and you sign with blasé style showing that this is something you take in your stride – whatever the circumstances, you use verb-agreement to show the variations in the way the transactions take place. Perhaps you just SELL IT, SELL IT to get it off your hands; or your facial expression and NMF show reluctance because you hate to part with the car – this is all linked to agreement verbs, where classifiers, hand-shape and movement may change according to the situation.
The second kind of verbs is plain verbs. These are fixed, and do not change in the same way as agreement verbs: they remain the same. For example, we have the sign LOVE: – LOVE-CAR – GONE! meaning you’re so disappointed you didn’t manage to buy it. You can see this from the perspective of the seller as well as the buyer: the buyer would really love to buy that car, and while the seller just signs GONE, SOLD! the would-be buyer can’t hide her disappointment that she’s lost it. DISAPPOINTED is a fixed verb, as are LIKE/DON’T LIKE. The buyer signs DISAPPOINTED, etc. in the same location and in the same way, as these are plain verbs.
The next column contains the cultural information relevant to this lesson. This concerns the expression of emotion when buying and selling, but also deals with the group-dynamics of these transactions in BSL, where information, deals and transactions are kept within the community or group. If you would like more information about this, go to the ‘culture’ pages of the website, where there is more explanation of this group reciprocity.
The last column contains information about what the students should learn and achieve in this lesson. With your class, you can discuss in depth about buying and selling a car, and getting a valuation; you can also discuss how to negotiate and get a bargain in BSL. When dealing with cars you sign one way, but when buying and selling houses the signs are different: this is when verb agreement comes into play. This is something you can give to your class to discuss. When dealing with cars you are talking about thousands of pounds; you might talk about ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED POUNDS, or FIVE THOUSAND POUNDS. With houses it might be hundreds of thousands, of ever over a million pounds; but you wouldn’t sign one and a half million pounds – Deaf people would find that confusing. Better to sign ONE MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS, which will be more easily understood. Check that your students know this and have learned what they need. That completes Lesson Twelve.
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