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Sign Language By: Shannon Chesna.

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1 Sign Language By: Shannon Chesna

2 ASL American Sign Language uses signs in visual or spatial form.
Independent of English Derived from French Sign Language 5 parameters of signs Hand configuration, place articulation, movement, orientation (palm up or down), and facial expression

3 Differences from Spoken Language
Most spoken languages are arbitrary No relationship between set of sounds and the object that the sound represents Example: catepillar (big word for small object) ASL is mainly iconic The signs represent the objects Example: tree (forearm upright with hand spread) Even though these signs may represent something, they are not always transparent in meaning. Klima and Bellugi performed a study where results showed that only 10% of iconic symbols were identified by hearing observers.

4 Differences cont. Frishberg claimed that the level of iconicity has declined in the past 200 years. To become more conventionalized Example: Home used to be the signs eat followed by sleep. Now it is cupping your hand and touching two places on your cheek. ASL is now a “dual system of reference” Part iconic and part arbitrary

5 Differences cont. In spoken languages there are just 1 serial stream of phonemes (sequential) Sign Language can have multiple things going on at the same time (simultaneous) ASL has its own morphology (rules for creation of words), phonetics (rules for hand shapes), and grammar that are unlike spoken languages

6 Differences cont. Spoken languages have sound as basic “building block” for emotion or feeling Sign language is visual so it relies on facial expressions and movement to convey emotion

7 Similarities to Spoken Language
Morphology Distinctions from first and second person are differentiated by movement Ex: ask me- movement of sign towards self and ask you- movement of sign away from self Reciprocity is whether the subject is the cause or recipient of the object or if it is mutual Ex: They pinched each other- sign with movement back and forth across signers body English uses the distinction with pronouns

8 Similarities English uses subject-verb-object by word order
ASL sometimes uses this with verbs that need a direct object, they are signed subject-object-verb.

9 Similarities ASL uses spatial processes to indicate certain nouns
Ex: He said he hit him, and then fell down. In English this is ambiguous but because ASL uses these spatial processes, it is a clear interpretation.

10 Error similarities Thompson, Emmory, and Gollan Study
Found the “tip of the finger” experiences to be similar to “tip of the tongue” experience. Signers were more likely to retrieve a target sign’s hand configuration and place of articulation than its movement. Results provide evidence that parameters are independent

11 Error similarities Slip of the tongue errors occur in sign language as well however slips of hand Ex: Deaf woman Points to possibility that both types of languages take form because of basic cognitive limits on how or how much linguistic information may be structure or used.

12 Syntax Primarily conveyed through a combination of word order and non-manual features Pro-drop and doesn’t have a capula (linking ‘to be’ verb) Ex: My hair is wet. Signs- MY HAIR WET.

13 Syntactic word order Places Adj. after noun Adv. Occur before verbs
Ex: I have brown dog=DOG BROWN I HAVE Adv. Occur before verbs Ex: I enter the house quietly= HOUSE I QUIET ENTER Modal verbs come after main verb of clause Ex: I can go to the store for you.= FOR YOU, STORE I GO CAN

14 Syntax Negation Questions Subject pronoun tags
Ex: I don’t have any dogs= DOG I HAVE NONE Questions Ex: What are you eating?= YOU EAT [WHAT?] Raised eyebrows are used for rhetorical questions Subject pronoun tags Ex: The boy fell down=BOY FALL

15 Syntax Conjunctions “and” does not exist in ASL instead there are two sentences combined by a short pause. “or” and “but” often signed with slight shoulder twist Ex: I have two Cats and they are named Billy and Bob.= CAT TWO I HAVE. NAME B-I-L-L-Y B-O-B

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