ASL Grammar Rules

Discussion in 'Sign Language & Deaf Education' started by GraysonPeddie, May 29, 2006.

  1. GraysonPeddie

    GraysonPeddie Eye/Hear/Speech Impaired Premium Member

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    Hi I have a question. How good is the American Sign Language Grammar Rules?

    I'm asking because I'm learning and studying ASL and the rules of ASL Grammar.

    For learning ASL, I used the following resources:

    Tutorial:

    http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-layout/concepts.htm
    http://www.lessontutor.com/ASLgenhome.html

    ASL Grammar:

    http://daphne.palomar.edu/kstruxness/ASL Grammar Rules 1-06.pdf

    ASL Reference:

    http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm
    http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-layout/signs.htm

    I purchased the $50 DVD video (ouch) for learning Sign Language called Sign Language For Everyone by Anthony and while most of the subtitles are easy for me to read (white if I remember correctly), for learning sign language, the words are black and I can barely read it...plus, in one part of the video when Anthony went into a store (I heard him speaking before he went in), he said, "Hello?" a couple of times, went into looking at picture frames, and when the store employee heard him, he went over to him, trying to talk to him and doesn't speak and the employee went back and gets the woman to try to speak to him. It just makes me suspecious and made me skip to the next chapter (scene) or quit watching the video. Note that this is based on my opinion and not meant to offend him...however I don't watch the video anymore because I found it easier for me to learn the signs from the Internet. I know taking it in a class is the best way to learn ASL but wanted to learn on my own pace. Since I have started to not watch DVD video on learning ASL, I found the price of the video not worth it... :p
     
  2. Heath

    Heath Active Member

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    Here is another one for free at :

    http://www.aslpro.com

    You will learn as you go and you will be much happier to be back in the Deaf community and go through the up and downs of Deaf Community Life. You are headed in the right direction. God Bless !!!!! :) :thumb: :angel:
     
  3. Interpretrator

    Interpretrator Crime fighter Premium Member

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    "The Green Book" is regarded as one of the standards for teaching and learning ASL Grammar. Its real name:

    "American Sign Language: A Teacher's Resource Text on Grammar and Culture," by Charlotte Baker-Shenk and Dennis Cokely.

    I don't know if there's a companion student volume, but get the teacher's text.
     
  4. GraysonPeddie

    GraysonPeddie Eye/Hear/Speech Impaired Premium Member

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    Well that would take me a lot of time to search! Thank you for posting a link! :) Conversation phrases would certainly help me out with ASL.

    Thanks!!! :thumb:
     
  5. EyesBlueDeaf

    EyesBlueDeaf New Member

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    Ah, that's my favorite bible!
     
  6. Vivid-Dawn

    Vivid-Dawn New Member

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    I'm not really sure if this is a grammar question or not, but close enough I guess.
    I'm also in an ASL class (only 2 sessions so far), and understand just about everything so far except the issue of repetative signs. For example... "Are you a student?", is done as "you student you" or something like "I'm hearing" is "I hearing I". My instructor says you don't need to repeat the 'you'/'I', but it's how the book is teaching it.
    Apparently a lot of people have trouble watching ASL, but I'm just the opposite...I 'read' a lot better than I do it - horrible coordination! LOL.
    So if I were to talk to somebody in public, would they understand (or think it rude?) that I only say the 'you/I' once?

    I might go see the links later. Right now, I'm half an hour late for bed, and haven't even started my assignment for tomorrow! >_<
     
  7. Reba

    Reba Retired Terp Premium Member

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    Yes, that's the text we used. For some reason, there is only a "Teacher's" book for that, but it is used as a student text. I have the other four "green books" too, but they don't cover grammar.
     
  8. EyesBlueDeaf

    EyesBlueDeaf New Member

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    Ah, okay.. In the book .. what's the transcription (glossing) exactly?

    Example:

    YOU STUDENT you?
    you is silent.. just an act of pointing

    Shucks, I cannot do the glossings in here because of limited options.

    lemme think of the other one... okay, here's another example:

    _______________wh-q
    WHAT NAME YOU 'what'

    Please note that there are 2 'what' One is CAPITAL and other is lowercase.
    CAPITAL WHAT is a sign and lowercase 'what' is a gesture.

    Grrr... insufficient options.. Anyway, hope that helps just a little :)
     
  9. Vivid-Dawn

    Vivid-Dawn New Member

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    In my book ("Learning American Sign Language" by Tom Humphries and Carol Padden - blue and yellow cover), it goes like this

    _______q_______
    YOU STUDENT YOU
    Are you a student?

    That's it exactly. No bold words. And the picture shows gesturing of you/point, sign for student, and another pointing gesture.

    Anyway, my biggest wonder is do I have to do the repetition? Maybe later it won't be so bad, but for now, my hands are awfully clumsy LOL Besides, apparently "ASL" is technically a seperate language. If I did just "You student", that would be English Sign...right?
    Already asked my instructor this, but I figured an opinion from such a broad source would be good too :)
     
  10. Interpretrator

    Interpretrator Crime fighter Premium Member

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    Just like learning English or any language, it's good to let go of the idea that there is any one right way to say/sign something. I remember when I was learning and I was REALLY resistant to learning an "alternate" sign for something I had already learned and mastered. I thought, "I'll just use THIS sign and won't worry about the other ones." Clearly I've gotten past that. :)

    Anyway, as I'm sure other people have said and will continue to say, the best thing to do is meet people in the deaf community. You will see people who sign "STUDENT?" "YOU STUDENT?" "STUDENT YOU?" "YOU STUDENT YOU?" "YOU STUDENT YOU STUDENT YOU?" and all kinds of things. There's actually a reason why your book says one thing and your teacher says another: it's because prescriptive grammar (the hard and fast rules) and descriptive grammar (how it's actually used) are often different. Try not to get hung up on it too much but see how people in the real world use ASL and it will get a lot easier for you to broaden your acceptance of variations.

    That sounded REALLY pretentious and I'm sorry; I'm working on a grad school paper so that's my tone for the day. :D

    Personally, I sign one of three of the above examples depending on who I'm talking to, what happens to come out when I ask the question, and as my teacher used to say, what I had for breakfast that morning.

    EDIT: And no, "YOU STUDENT" it isn't necessarily English sign.
     
  11. Reba

    Reba Retired Terp Premium Member

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    Yes, that's pretty much the bottom line.

    Even in spoken English, there is usually more than one way to phrase each utterance.
     
  12. Vivid-Dawn

    Vivid-Dawn New Member

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    Thanks for the help, advice, opinions, etc. I guess I shouldn't fret about it, but I'm enthusiastic about getting it right ;)
    Guess I'll try it out on Sunday when I (finally) introduce myself to what's-his-name I always see at church.

    Anyhoo, that's it for me. For now! *goes back to work so I can leave on time to get to class on time*
     
  13. Reba

    Reba Retired Terp Premium Member

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    They will understand you. :)

    They won't think you're rude. :)

    At worst, they'll think, "Ah, she's a sign language student." :D

    Hang in there!
     
  14. EyesBlueDeaf

    EyesBlueDeaf New Member

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    Ah, I use the bold to show which 'you' I was talking about.
    I have been teaching ASL / ASL Linquistics for more than 14 years.
    It would be MUCH easier for me to explain in person.. then you'll
    understand better.
    FYI: There are no rights or wrongs when transcribing/glossing. Each linquistics have their own preferences.. but as long as we linquistics can read and understand the transcriptions/ glossings.
     
  15. GraysonPeddie

    GraysonPeddie Eye/Hear/Speech Impaired Premium Member

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    Needed help with ASL: I wanted to sign "Me and my mom are going to Disney World" in ASL. How will this work?

    Second question: To quickly fingerspell "Disney," can I do a combination of "d" and "i" like after I make a "d" sign, I immediatly open my 5th finger to make an "i" sign? Making a combo blurs the two handshapes together because if I do that, I can then fingerspell the rest of the letters, "s," "n," "e," "y" and then sign "world" as in "Disney World."

    Last: What if I want to sign a time like "11:15" or "12:00?"
     
  16. farmerjoe

    farmerjoe Member

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    A tip for ASL grammer that I was given a while back is to imagine drawing a picture. If you wanted to say " a boy climbed up a tree" What would you drawn first? a tree. ASL is very similar.

    It seems akward at first but if you're famailiar with any other languages like russian (no "be" verb) or japanese (similar sentence structure and the use of particles has paralells with ASL) then it's not as weird.

    for your second question, I think you're too worried about signing quickly enough. .dont. just practice practice practice and it will all become more smooth and faster. (plus there's no point in fingerspelling so fast that no one can understand you ) What I've done is just durring the day if I'm watching TV or whatever if I've got a hand free I'll just start finger spelling the names of things "chair" "table" "vacuume" "hippopotamus" "encyclopedia" whatever.


    for times:

    for times on the hour do this:
    make the motion for the sign for "time" but instead of the X handshape use the number of the time. Tap the wrist once then bring the hand with the number to your neutral space and shake it like the sign for "where". (no shake for 10,11, and 12)

    For all other times the sign starts the same way but instead of toing the little hand wave, sign the number after the colon. for example 15 is "fifteen" not "one, five"
    it makes more sence if you see it but I hope that helps.
     
  17. GraysonPeddie

    GraysonPeddie Eye/Hear/Speech Impaired Premium Member

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    Not familiar with other languages but your answer is not what I'm looking for.

    How would I sign this in ASL? Would it be:
    "Disney World me and mom will go"
    ?

    I can imagine but please help me with the specifics! :ugh3:

    Should I learn Russia or Japanese before I learn ASL???
     
  18. EyesBlueDeaf

    EyesBlueDeaf New Member

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    ________topic
    DISNEY WORLD MOM ME GO WILL

    for topic - you raise your eyebrows.

    instead of D...I...S...N...E...Y..., just use 2 hands - handshape C on your head (like Mickey Mouse's ears)

    For TIME: tap on top of wrist then 11 .. 15 or 12, etc OR sign like
    afternoon but your arm is straight upward (follow the clock's hands) OR do the same thing with arm straight upward and sign '12'

    Hope that helps.
     
  19. rockdrummer

    rockdrummer Guest

    Any ideas on where to pick up this book? Thanks!!!
     
  20. EyesBlueDeaf

    EyesBlueDeaf New Member

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    Ever heard of [​IMG] ??
     

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