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American Annals of the Deaf

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The American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary

Second Edition

Richard A. Tennant and
Marianne Gluszak Brown
Illustrated by Valerie Nelson-Metlay

Now in Paperback

July 2010

Table of contents
   - Choice (1st Ed.)
   - Library Journal
   - Deaf Life
   - Choice (2nd Ed.)
   - Reference & Research Book News
   - Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

  $36.95 (t) paperback, ebook

“The second edition of The American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary is a handy reference. An accompanying DVD provides word lists with each sign demonstrated by models representing different ages and ethnicities. Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through graduate students, general readers, and professionals.”


This unique reference can help users locate a sign whose meaning they have forgotten, or help them find the meaning of a new sign they have just seen for the first time. It organizes more than 1,900 ASL signs by 40 basic handshapes and includes detailed descriptions on how to form these signs to represent the different English words that they might mean. Users can begin to track down a sign by determining whether it is formed with one hand or two. Further distinctions of handshape, palm orientation, location, movement, and nonmanual signals help them pinpoint their search while also refining their grasp of ASL syntax and grammar. A complete English word index provides the option of referring to an alphabetical listing of English terms to locate an equivalent sign or choice of signs.

       This dictionary features:

  • More than 1,900 sign illustrations, organized by handshape
  • Complete index of English vocabulary for all signs
  • An introduction to Deaf culture and ASL structure

       The American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary is a one-of-a-kind resource for learning ASL and enhancing communication skills in both ASL and English.

***Please note that this paperback edition does not include the DVD found in the hardcover edition. We are working to move the DVD video content online. Please follow us on social media or sign up for our newsletter for updates. Thank you.***

Richard A. Tennant is a former mathematics teacher who has studied American Sign Language extensively and resides in Acra, NY.

Marianne Gluszak Brown is an American Sign Language Teacher’s Association (ASLTA) professionally certified interpreter and a child of deaf adults (Coda) who works in Palisades, NY.

ISBN 978-1-944838-78-2
462 pages. 7 x 10. 1,900 sign illustrations, index.
$36.95 (t)

ISBN 978-1-944838-61-4