[sw-l] Verb Conjugations in American Sign Language (ASL) and others...

dparvaz at MAC.COM dparvaz at MAC.COM
Mon Nov 22 00:18:04 UTC 2004

>  American Sign Language Linguistics, (don't know off-hand, the book is
> at home).

Lucas and Valli :-) As for the rest, pretty much what Cynthia said,

> Is the full system of English tenses used? Is it needed it all? If
> not, how much of it is in actual use?

ASL does not exist to express the "full system of English tenses" any
more than English exists to express the full range of Classical Greek
tenses. That said, any sense which are expressed with tense, mood, and
voice can be expressed in ASL.

As far as I know, ASL does not have morphological tense -- point in
time is expressed using lexical items (today, every week, next
Christmas) -- although for a large class of verbs there are more or
less consistent morphemes for aspect and Aktionsart.

The same is true of many other signed languages (although I have heard
of morphological tense found in some SLs). For information about DGS
(German SL) and others, check out http://www.sign-lang.uni-hamburg.de


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