Insights into auslan

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Sign Language 1

2015 The Deaf Society

Updated: Version 2, July 2015
Handshapes used in Auslan
Adapted by Anne Horton from Australian Sign Language An introduction to sign language linguistics by
Johnston and Schembri)

Our understanding of the intricacies of the handshapes used in signed languages is really just beginning. The human hand is able to make avast array of possible shapes. Even so, sign language tends to use only a limited number of handshapes to create the total number of signs used in a given sign language.

More systematic research is required before the exact number of handshapes needed to describe the signs of Auslan can be specified. This is largely because of the complexity of the productive nature of signs (for example, the depicting signs) and the influence of other signed languages and their handshapes.

At present, there are sixty-two handshapes listed in the Signs of Australia dictionary of Auslan (Johnston, 1998). Of these sixty-two handshapes, thirty-seven

Signs of australia
When the mind hears a history of the deaf
The mask of benevolence disabling the deaf community
Signs of life australia’s deaf community
Fingerspelling in auslan
Introduction to auslan level 1
Opening hours of the state reference library
Auslan vocabulary
Insights into the deaf community
Hard of hearing
How big is the deaf community
Lipreading (also called speechreading):
Visually coded spoken english
Contact signing (formerly known as pidgin signed english or pse):
Total communication
Handout 11b
Handout 12a
Relax! and have fun!!!
How do i become an interpreter
Handout a + 13b
The accredited pathway
The long goodbye
Handout 15b
Sign names for people can be based on
Key social factors that produce variations in auslan include family of origin,
Handout a + 18b
Despite the many changes in approaches to the education of deaf children in the
Clubs / associations
Organisations for hard of hearing people
Over 100 other
See past editions at
Handout a + 23b
Other interesting points

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