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Sign Language By: Shannon Chesna. ASL  American Sign Language uses signs in visual or spatial form.  Independent of English Derived from French Sign.

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Presentation on theme: "Sign Language By: Shannon Chesna. ASL  American Sign Language uses signs in visual or spatial form.  Independent of English Derived from French Sign."— Presentation transcript:

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 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 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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