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Fingerspelling and Its Role in Signed Languages

Hannah Luz Professor Jill Birchall SILA 317 ASL Linguistics 4 December 2014 Fingerspelling and Its Role in Signed Languages Fingerspelling is the act of using a manual representation of a languageā€™s written alphabet in order to spell a word. In American Sign Language (ASL) fingerspelling is most often used for identifying proper nouns, titles, and brand names. However, it also serves a purpose in applying emphasis to a sign, as well as providing clarification. Clarification may be needed for a sign that can have multiple meanings depending on the content and context of the sentence, and also in a situation where a person does not know a particular sign. This is common with people learning ASL, or even native signers  →
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