Introduction Deaf children of deaf parents naturally acquire sign language as their first language. If they live in America, they will acquire American Sign Language, known as Ameslan or ASL.
Alternate sign language It is a system of gestures developed by speakers for limited communication in a specific context where speech cannot be used. It is found in some religious orders and some working circumstances such as among bookmakers at racetracks and sawmill workers, etc. The user of an alternate sign language has another first (spoken) language. Primary sign language It is the first language of a group that does not have access to spoken language.
Gestures and sign languages By: HessahSharafAlthubaiti
Sign and gestures are rather different. Sign is like speech and is used instead of speaking, whereas gestures are mostly used while speaking. The gestures are just part of the way in which meaning is expressed and can be observed while people are speaking and singing. A distinction can be drawn between gestures and emblems. Emblems are signals such as “thumbs up” (=things are good)or “shush” (=keep quiet) that function like fixed phrases and do not depend on speech. Emblems are conventional and depend on social knowledge.
Type of gestures: 1- Iconics Iconics are gestures that seem to be a reflection of the meaning of what is said. For example: When we trace a square in the air with a finger while saying I’m looking for a small box.
2- Deictics The term deictic means pointing and we often use gestures to point to things or people while talking. the gestures and the speech combine to accomplish successful reference to something that only exists in joint memory rather than in the current physical space.
3- Beats They are short quick movements of the hand or fingers. These gestures accompany the rhythm of talk and are often used to emphasize parts of what is being said or to mark a change from describing events in a story to commenting on those events.
Oralism By Amal AL-Harbi
Oralism is a method of teaching. This method, which dominated deaf education for a century, required that the students practice English speech sounds and develop lipreading skills. Despite its resounding lack of success, the method was never challenged, perhaps because of a belief among many during this period that, in educational terms, most deaf children could not achieve very much anyway.
The method produced few students who could speak intelligible English and even fewer who could lipread. While oralism was failing, the use of ASL was flourishing. Many deaf children of hearing parents acquired the banned language at schools for the deaf from other children. It would seem that ASL is a rather unique language in that its major cultural transmission has been carried out from child to child.
Signed English By: BashaierAlqurshi
It is a means of producing signs that correspond to the words in an English sentence, in English word order. It is designed to facilitate = (ease) interaction between the deaf and the hearing community. Signed English
o It's also called Manually Coded English or MCE.o It is a result of emphasizing learning written English, rather than spoken.o Signed English is neither English nor ASL.
Advantages:It presents a much less formidable= (less difficult) learning task for the hearing parent of a deaf child and provides the parent with a communication system to use with the child.o Hearing teachers in deaf education can make use of Signed English when they sign at the same time as they speak (known as the simultaneous method).o It is also easier for those hearing interpreters who produce a simultaneous translation of public speeches or lectures for deaf audiences.o Many deaf people actually prefer interpreters to use Signed English because they say there is a higher likelihood of understanding the message.
Disadvantage: When used to produce an exact version of a spoken English sentence, it takes twice as long as the production of that same sentence in either English or ASL.
ASL developed from the French Sign Language used in a Paris school founded in the 18th century. Early in the 19th century, a teacher from this school, named Laurent Clerc, was brought to the United States by an American minister called Thomas Gallaudet who was trying to establish a school for deaf children. Clerctaught deaf children and trained other teachers. This imported version of sign language, incorporating features of local natural sign languages used by the American deaf, evolved into what became known as ASL. These historical facts explain the differences between American & British sign languages. Origins of ASL By: Maryam Salim
ASL and BSL are separate languages and neither should be treated as a version of spoken English which happens to involve the use of the hands.
The structure of signs It includes: • Shape and orientation • Location and movement • Primes, faces and finger-spelling
Oralism Shape and orientation: Shape refers to the configuration of the hands used in forming the sign. For example, in forming THANK-YOU a flat hand is used. The orientation of the hand describes the fact that the hand is ‘palm-up’. Location and movement The location of the sign capture the fact that, in THANK-YOU, it is first at the chin, then at waist level, and the movement is out and downward.
Oralism Primes, faces and finger-spelling The above mentioned four parameters can be analyzed into a set of primes (e.g. ‘flat hand’ and ‘palm-up’ are primes in shape and orientation respectively) in order to produce a full feature-analysis of each sign. Important functions can be served by head-movement, eye-movement and a number of specific facial expressions. For example, if a sentence is functioning as a question, it is typically accompanied by a raising of the eyebrows, widened eyes, and a slight leaning forward of the head.
Oralism If a new term or name is encountered, there is a possibility of finger-spelling via a system of hand configurations conventionally used to represent the letters of the alphabet.
The meaning of sings By: HadeelAlosaimi
Why does the hearing world consider ASL language as a set of limited, primitive gestures, or as a simple visual representations or “pictures” referring to objects & actions? Because the hearing world rarely witnesses conversations or discussions in ASL which range over every imaginable topics, concrete or abstract, with little resemblance to any form of pantomime.
Example: As non-users of ASL we can create a symbolic connection between a sign and its representation We can see the sign THANK YOU as an appropriate symbolic version of the “ thanking action”
We as speakers and hearers might be unable to identify the different meanings of sings the way we’re not able to identify unfamiliar languages, why is that? Because if we can’t identify the ”word”, we can’t identify the “pictures”. Fluent ASL signers recognize familiar linguistic forms that have arbitrary status.
Example: Rotating both hands together could mean: stripes on a flag, coming together or a mixing pot. In ASL signs have their meaning within the system of sign, not through reference to some image each time they are used
Sara Bin Humaid Representing signs(writing in asl)
Lou Fant (1977): “strictly speaking, the only way to write Ameslan is to usemotion pictures”
One of the major problems is finding a way to incorporate those aspects of facial expression that contribute to the message.
e.g. “Can I borrow the book?” is represented as: q ME BORROW BOOK • Capital letters • A line • q question This q over the line shows that the facial expression indicated a question function.
Other subtle aspects of meaning that can be conveyed by facial expression are still being investigated.
In one study, it was observed that a signer in the middle of telling a story, produced the signed message: e.g. MAN FISH [continuous] • “continuous” indicated by sweeping repetitive movement of the hand .. • Basic translation The man was fishing.
Other ASL users translate the same message as: e.g. The man was fishing with relaxation and enjoyment. mm MAN FISH [continuous] The source of this extra information was a particular facial expression and indicated by using mm over the line.
Oralism Investigations in ASL indicates that any feature found in spoken languages has a counterpart in ASL. There are equivalent levels of phonology, morphology and syntax in ASL. Children acquiring ASL go through same stages of children learning spoken language. There are different ASL dialects and historical changes of the forms of signs can be traced since the beginning of the century. In summary, ASL is a natural language.