American Sign LanguageEdit

Alternative formsEdit

  • The index finger points in different directions depending on the location of the referent.


From the typical ASL method of referring to something by pointing to it (deixis).


  • This 1-handed ASL sign is produced often with eye gaze directed to the indicated person, thing, group, or empty space:
    1. Posture the dominant hand in the “1” handshape about half arm's length in front of the dominant side of the chest, radial (thumb-side) edge of the dominant hand facing up. The index finger points toward the indicated particular person, thing, group, or empty space previously established to represent the indicated entity.
    2. Hold the hand briefly in this posture.
  • If the referent is a person, the index finger points toward the center of the person's chest (or the center of the figurative chest of an absent person whom the indicated space has been designated to represent). Thus, if the signer's chest is lower or higher than that of the indicated person, the finger points down or up accordingly.
GUH Hand LUH Hand LUH Move GUH Move GUH Hand LUH Hand
GUH Palm LUH Palm Second Second GUH Palm LUH Palm
GUH Position LUH Separation Third Third


  (ASL gloss: YOU, HE, SHE, HIM, HER, PRO)

  1. (pointing at a particular person or thing) that indicated person or thing; you; he; she; it; him; her; that
  2. (pointing at an empty space, following the identification of a particular person, thing, or group that is absent) designates a space that will henceforth represent the person or thing just previously identified
  3. (pointing at an empty space previously designated to represent one or more particular persons or things that are absent) the person or thing for which this space was previously designated; he; she; it; they; that

Usage notesEdit

  • (that indicated person or thing; you; he; she; it; him; her; that): Historically, linguists considered the forward-pointing version of this sign (interpreted as meaning “you”) to be a separate sign from when it would point elsewhere (interpreted as meaning “he”, “she”, “it”, etc.). Recent analysis[1], however, reveals that ASL has no actual distinction between second-person and third-person pronouns.
  • A similar sign, 1@Side-PalmDown (there) is sometimes produced with an alternative orientation that makes it a homophone for this sign.

Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Meier, Richard P., 1990, Person deixis in American Sign Language, University of Chicago Press, pages 175-190.