Parts of the Day

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An easy way to remember how to sign a particular part of the day is to think about the movement of the sun through the day. The sign for MORNING, for example, can be remembered by thinking about the sun (represented by the dominant hand) rising above the horizon (which is represented by the non-dominant hand.

When discussing activities that last for a particularly lengthy amount of time, ASL uses facial expressions to show the intensity of that duration. For example, notice the facial expression (a slight open mouth) that accompanies the signs ALL-DAY and ALL-MORNING in the videos. Without these non-manual behaviors, the signer might be misunderstood as just saying DAY or MORNING. Variation in the speed and extent of the sign also reinforces the meaning.

EVERY-MORNING, EVERY-NOON, EVERY-AFTERNOON, and EVERY-NIGHT: Some events occur daily at a specific time of the day. For example, someone may eat lunch every day at noon. Or, a child may go to dance lessons every night of the week. To express these types of events in ASL, the sign for the time of day (morning, noon, afternoon, evening, or night) is held and dragged across the sign space from the signer's nondominant to dominant sides (as if tracing across the week of an imaginary calendar).