Other Time Signs

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The convention in ASL when expressing time signs is that the future is referenced in front of the body, signs indicating the past point behind the signer, and the present is at the signer's own location. This is congruent with Western notions of time. Interestingly, in Egyptian Sign Language, the exact opposite convention is used. The future is referred to as behind the signer, and the past in front. The difference in the expression of similar concepts between these two cultures underscores not only the conventional nature of language, but also how culture is reflected in language.

NEXT-WEEK Ð watch this video carefully. The dominant hand rotates under the non-dominant hand, and out away from the signer.