Show Terms

Rhetorical Questions
There are two examples here of rhetorical questions. Notice that these expressions are divided into two parts. The first part is the comment; the second part is the explanation. The use of WHY between the comment and the explanation is an important grammatical device in ASL called a rhetorical question. Rhetorical questions are used in English, but they are not used as frequently or in the same way. The rhetorical question is used a lot in ASL to show time sequencing and to allow for more explanation. As with Yes-No questions, the eyebrows are raised in rhetorical questions.

Ordering Events with Contrastive Structure
As you learned in Unit 5, to show contrasts between people or events, the signer shifts her body from left to right to show the difference between the referents. Here, in Unit 6, the contrast is between events in time. The signer uses the orientation of her shoulder to show different events.