Agreement Verbs in British Sign Language (BSL)
In British Sign Language (BSL), agreement verbs are an essential component of sentence structure. These verbs are used to indicate the subject and object of the sentence, and they must agree with the gender and number of the nouns they are referring to. In this article, we will explore agreement verbs in BSL and their importance in conveying clear meaning and avoiding confusion.
What are Agreement Verbs?
Agreement verbs are used in BSL to show the relationship between the subject and object of a sentence. They are similar to auxiliary verbs in English, which help to indicate tense and form a complete sentence. However, in BSL, agreement verbs also indicate the gender and number of the nouns they are referring to.
For example, the verb “to be” in BSL has different signs depending on whether the subject is male or female. Similarly, the verb “to have” changes depending on whether the object is singular or plural.
Why are Agreement Verbs Important?
Agreement verbs are important in BSL because they help to clarify the meaning of a sentence. Without them, it can be unclear who or what the subject and object are, which can lead to confusion and miscommunication.
For example, consider the sentence “book I borrow”. Without agreement verbs, it is unclear whether the speaker is referring to a single book or multiple books, and whether the borrower is male or female. However, when the correct agreement verbs are added, the sentence becomes clear: “book (singular) borrow (female) I”.
Common BSL Agreement Verbs
Some of the most common agreement verbs in BSL include:
– To be: This verb has different signs for male and female subjects. For example, “he is” is signed by pointing to the forehead, while “she is” is signed by pointing to the chin.
– To have: This verb changes depending on whether the object is singular or plural. For example, “I have a book” is signed by placing the palm of one hand up, while “we have books” is signed by placing both palms up.
– To do: This verb changes depending on whether the action is performed by a single person or a group. For example, “I will do it” is signed by making a circle with one hand and tapping it with the other, while “we will do it” is signed by making a circle with both hands and tapping them together.
Agreement verbs are an important aspect of BSL sentence structure, and they help to clarify the meaning of a sentence. By indicating the gender and number of the subject and object, they allow signers to convey their message clearly and avoid confusion. As a professional, it`s crucial to understand the nuances of BSL grammar and ensure that its principles are respected in written form.