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author jack slemenda converse college sc

Author: Jack SlemendaConverse College, SC

Date submitted to deafed.net – March 20, 2008

To contact the author for permission to use this PowerPoint, please e-mail: slemenjc@spart5.k12.sc.us

To use this PowerPoint presentation in its entirety, please give credit to the author.

sign languages around the world

Sign Languages Around the World

Jack Slemenda

Converse College

A look at France, China and South Africa

did you know
Did you know?
  • Contrary to popular belief, sign languages are not universal.
  • Each country or culture has its own gestures or hand shapes for words and sentences.
introduction
Introduction
  • Sign languages are either the main or only languages used by certain members of society.
    • Considered its own language
    • Has its own set of rules
more about sign
More about Sign
  • Each society, then, has its own primary sign language
  • Variations in dialect just as in spoken language
  • As many sign languages as there are spoken languages.
just to name a few
Just to name a few…
  • French Sign Language
  • South African Sign Language
  • Chinese Sign Language
french sign language
French Sign Language –
  • Langue des Signes Francaise (LSF)
  • 1st known sign language identified as a true language
  • Discovered by accident
    • Abbe’ Eppe
      • Met twin sisters who were deaf
      • Developed interest in their communication (OFSL)
development of lsf
Development of LSF
  • Epee created “methodical signs”
    • Very difficult
    • First attempt for a sign language to have spoken language appearance
  • Started a school for the deaf
    • Located in Paris
    • Deaf students in one place
      • Continuous communication
      • Accelerated the language
  • Deaf could still be intelligent without using spoken language
transformation of lsf
Transformation of LSF
  • Abbe’ Sicard
    • Student of Abbe’ Epee
    • Headmaster of Paris school following Epee
    • Theory of Ciphers
      • Code system to help put language into patterns
      • Helped students create sentences using grammatical French
other instrumental individuals
Other Instrumental Individuals
  • Jean Massieu
    • Born deaf
    • Head Teaching Assistant at the Paris school
  • Laurent Clerc
    • Studied under Jean Massieu
    • Met Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet
    • Decided to go to America to help establish The American School for the Deaf
spread of sign language
Spread of Sign Language
  • Schools for the deaf
    • Graduates took what they learned and found new schools
    • Contributed to transformation of sign language into other “dialects”
the battle lsf vs oralism
The Battle: LSF vs. Oralism
  • Round 1
    • Milan Congress
    • 1880
    • LSF banned from classrooms
    • Only allowed to use oral approach
  • Round 2
    • 1970’s - Deaf began fighting for use of LSF
    • Fabius law passed
      • 1991
      • Allowed use of LSF to educate deaf children
and the winner is
And the Winner is…
  • 2004 - LSF officially recognized as a language
  • Oralism still used
south african sign language sasl
South African Sign Language – SASL
  • Introduction to South Africa
    • 1881
    • Deaf school established by W. Murray
        • Children from Afrikaans-speaking families
        • British Sign Language first used
      • By 1900’s three deaf schools existed in SA
communication
Communication
  • Between Hearing and Deaf
    • Few hearing people know SASL
    • Mix of speech, signs, and fingerspelling
  • Between Deaf Adults
    • Sign and fingerspelling
    • Some confusion
      • Residential schools develop own dialects
      • Passed down to each generation
      • Individuals leave schools
        • Still use their own dialect
        • Can create misunderstanding
norman neider heitmann
Norman Neider- Heitmann
  • 1974 – Appointed to research sign languages used in South Africa
    • Hoped to standardize the signs
    • Help all language groups communicate better
7 years later
7 years later…
  • Talking to the Deaf was published
    • 1st sign dictionary in SA
    • Further research to test validity of signs
  • Seven deaf groups from SA questioned
    • 95% of signs recognized by groups
    • Not necessarily used
what s happening now
What’s happening now?
  • Talking to the Deaf
    • Primary method in many schools
    • Follows grammatical rules of language
      • Designed to teach children spoken language
      • Part of both communities
chinese sign language csl
Chinese Sign Language – CSL
  • First deaf school in China
    • 1887
    • American missionary C.R. Mills and his wife
    • Focused on oral methods
    • ASL had no influence on CSL
  • CSL fairly new
    • Proposed in 1950 by SL Reform Committee
    • 1961 – sign language book published
chinese sign language
Chinese Sign Language
  • Shapes and motions along with facial expressions
  • Signs resemble written pictorial characters
  • Manual alphabet
    • Used only to fingerspell words
    • Rarely used among deaf
    • Write characters on palm or air
some statistics
Some Statistics
  • Approximately 21 million people in China with hearing loss
  • 3 million are deaf
  • Last 50 years
    • CSL discouraged
    • Banned from some classrooms
    • Oral-only policy
  • 1500 hearing rehabilitation centers
    • For preschool children
    • <10% of children leaving hearing rehabilitation centers are able to grasp enough CSL for school
why so few
Why so few?
  • Chinese is a tonal language
    • Same phonetic pronunciations with different intonations have different meanings
    • Deaf children cannot hear to distinguish tones
the deaf are disabled
The Deaf are disabled?
  • Chinese view deafness as a disability
  • Deaf view themselves as disabled
    • Parents aim to cure deafness
      • Spend 10s of thousands of yen
      • Acupuncture
      • Hearing Aids
      • Rehabilitation Centers
    • Deaf students prefer hearing teacher to a deaf one
is there hope for csl
Is there hope for CSL?
  • Schools aiming to embrace deaf culture
  • Tianjin
    • Third largest city
    • Working to create jobs for deaf
    • 2001 Tianjin School for the Deaf
      • Adopted CSL as primary communication method
      • Aim to have deaf employees
    • Tianjin Technical College for the Deaf
      • First technical college for deaf Chinese
      • Focuses on computer technology
references
References
  • Chinese Sign Language. In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [online]. Wikipedia Foundation, Inc. 2007 [cited 8 July, 2007] http://en.wikipedia.org
  • French Sign Language. In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [online]. Wikipedia Foundation, Inc. 2007 [cited 8 July, 2007] http://en.wikipedia.org
  • Herbst, Johan M. “South African Sign Languages”. Cleve, John V. van (ed): Gallaudet encyclopedia of deaf people and deafness (Vol. 3. S-Z. New York, NY: McGraw Hill (1987) pp. 106-108
references continued
References (continued)
  • J., Julie “Sign language – Can Deaf People from Different Countries Understand Each Other?” Online posting. February 2007. Yahoo! Answers. 8 July 2007. http://answers.yahoo.com
  • Moody, William. “French Sign Languages”. Cleve, John V. van (ed): Gallaudet Encyclopedia of deaf people and deafness (Vol. 3. S-Z. New York, NY: McGraw Hill (1987) pp. 74-77.
  • Singer, M., Afsari, N., Michaut, Frederik, & Lamit, Virginia. “L’Alphabet en LSF.” [online] The DESS Nouvelles Technologies and Handicaps Sensory and Physical at Paris8 University. [cited 20 July 2007] http://ufr6.univ-paris8.fr.
references continued1
References (continued)
  • South African Sign Language. In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [online]. Wikipedia Foundation, Inc. 2007 [cited 8 July, 2007] http://en.wikipedia.org
  • “Standard Manual Alphabet.” [online] A to Z to Deafblindness. 17 September 2002. [cited 20 June 2007]. http://www.deafblind.com/ukthma.html
  • Yau, Shun-chiu. “Chinese Sign Languages”. Cleve, John V. van (ed): Gallaudet encyclopedia of deaf people and deafness (Vol. 3. S-Z. New York, NY: McGraw Hill (1987) pp. 65-67