Visual Encyclopedia

Handshape

In sign languages, handshape, or dez, refers to the distinctive configurations that the hands take as they are used to form words. In Stokoe terminology it is known as the , an abbreviation of designator. Handshape is one of five components of a sign, along with location orientation movement and facial-body expression. Different sign languages make use of different handshapes.

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For my American Sign Language III class, we had to create a same handshape story. We had to tell a short story using signs ONLY with the handshape we used! Interesting and unique project, but fun!

Contributed by Jordan Dean

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