#ALL versus ALL in American Sign Language (ASL)





sign language, ASL, American Sign Language, quantification, universal quantification, ALL, Event Visibility Hypothesis, EVH, iconicity


This paper extends a visible pattern (“iconicity”) that has been observed in sign language verbs and adjectives to quantification in American Sign Language (ASL). The Event Visibility Hypothesis (EVH) states that boundedness is morphophonologically encoded in articulation of a rapid deceleration of movement at the end of a sign (aka end-marking). Here the EVH is applied to the two ASL quantifiers glossed #ALL and ALL. Doing so accounts for the semantic distinction between them: ALL is definite (bounded), whereas #ALL is underspecified for definiteness (unbounded).

Author Biographies

  • Margaret Ruth Crabtree, Purdue University
    Department of Linguistics; Doctoral Student
  • Ronnie B. Wilbur, Purdue University
    Department of Linguistics and Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences; Full Professor




How to Cite

Crabtree, Margaret Ruth, and Ronnie B. Wilbur. 2020. “#ALL Versus ALL in American Sign Language (ASL)”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 5 (1): 798–806. https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v5i1.4761.