State and Local Cities

Show Terms

Cardinal Directions
When signing cardinal directions, move the sign as if you were looking at a map. Thus, whether you are right or left handed, EAST will always be on your right, and WEST will always be on you left.
You'll notice that for EAST and WEST the right and left-handed signers move their sign in the same direction and have the same handshape, but that their palms are oriented in opposite directions. Your palm orientation for EAST and WEST should be such that you are in the most natural and comfortable position for that movement. A right-handed signer, for example, would orient the palm outward when signing EAST and inward when signing WEST.

Direct Reference
If referring to a specific place, it is okay to point in the direction that place would be located. For example, if you are in Austin and you are trying to tell someone that something is in Dallas, you would point in the direction of Dallas (relative to where you are currently standing). On a smaller scale, if you are in the Tower on UT's campus and you are refering to something in the Communications building, you would point toward the Communications building as it stands in relation to where you are.

Spatial Referencing
When identifying an object in relation to another object, a few steps should be taken. First identify the point of reference. Depending on where the second location is, you can use either your dominant or non-dominant hand to identify the point of reference. For example, if you were referencing Houston to San Antonio, you would first point to San Antonio with your left hand (because San Antonio is west of Houston), and then identify Houston with your right hand. If you were referencing El Paso to San Antonio, you would first identify San Antonio with your right hand (because it is east of El Paso), and then identify El Paso with your left. Even though you may have to sign with your non-dominant hand, it is important that the relationship between two locations or objects be maintained in your sign space.

City Names Almost every city will have a sign name that has been assigned to it by the people who live there. If you are unfamiliar with the city or its sign, fingerspell. If the person to whom you are talking knows the sign name, they will more than likely tell you.