Tricky question maybe HARSH question

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LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
Jane, there is no need for many English words when you "draw a picture". Sign language is like that, drawing a picture. Getting right to the point and eliminating excess words.
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
. . . I still have great trouble wrapping my head around the idea that American Sign Language (ASL) was developed with such different grammar than American English!
Why fight it? It makes it more difficult to learn a second language if you can't accept it for what it is. That goes for all languages.

Yes, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet went to a French expert but he was from the USA and knew that English was the dominant language. So . . . why didn't it get set up with English grammar????
It's not English, that's why. It's ASL. It's not a spoken language, it's a visual spatial language. If you would think about it, the sign order of ASL makes perfect sense.

For example, when describing the location of something, start with the big general picture and add descriptors to get the precise image. CAR>SMALL>TWO-DOOR>RED. It's like a drawing. Sketch the car outline first, modify it to small, draw in the two doors, and then color it red. That makes more sense than "a small two-door red car." If you start with "small," how do you draw a descriptive "small" without a referent? Small what? If you start with "red" you have a blob of red what?

Another example:
"Where is your classroom?"

"Strayer College>Downtown Campus>Building 40>Second Floor>Room 260."


Otherwise, starting with "Room 260"--where? What building? Which campus?

Order of priority in ASL, topic first then the action or state of being regarding that topic. "BOOK>GIVE-ME." Or, chronological order of a sequence of events. ELEMENTARY-SCHOOL>MIDDLE-SCHOOL>HIGH-SCHOOL>COLLEGE. Or, procedural order. SHAMPOO>RINSE>TOWEL-DRY. Logical.


Then, there is facial grammar. ASL depends on visual cues, and spoken languages depend on audible differences in tone. ASL uses eyebrows to indicate question statements. So? Spoken languages use rising and lowering voice pitches to make question statements.

For emphasis, ASL signs get larger or smaller, change speed, or repetitive. Spoken words get louder or softer, change speed, or repeat. So?
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
I already knew that is what it is now. But . . . I can't understand why something more similar to spoken American English was not promoted from the very beginning to help the two groups understand each other!
Which is why you are having difficulty learning it. You can't change a language that has existed for centuries and used by millions of people all over the country just to suit your personal preferences. It's up to you to adapt to the language, not the other way around. Once you accept that and go with the flow it becomes a lot more easy and natural.

Let's get real. Something has been promoted that was supposed to be more similar to spoken English. It's called signed English or various versions of SEE. It was forced into Deaf education and promoted for decades by the establishment. So, have very many more hearing and late-deafened people learned signed English fluently? Noooooo!

It's a fallacy that using signed English would "help the two groups understand each other."

You might make an argument for PSE (depending on where on the spectrum you put it) as a contact language, as any pidgin language would be. But even spoken pidgin languages have their limitations.
 

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
Which is why you are having difficulty learning it. You can't change a language that has existed for centuries and used by millions of people all over the country just to suit your personal preferences. It's up to you to adapt to the language, not the other way around. Once you accept that and go with the flow it becomes a lot more easy and natural.

Let's get real. Something has been promoted that was supposed to be more similar to spoken English. It's called signed English or various versions of SEE. It was forced into Deaf education and promoted for decades by the establishment. So, have very many more hearing and late-deafened people learned signed English fluently? Noooooo!

It's a fallacy that using signed English would "help the two groups understand each other."

You might make an argument for PSE (depending on where on the spectrum you put it) as a contact language, as any pidgin language would be. But even spoken pidgin languages have their limitations.

I am not having trouble learning it simply because I have not been trying to learn it for many years. That is because I have no one to use it with. Yes, if that changes, I would make the effort to learn it.
 

Bebonang

Active Member
I have much less word comprehension than LoveBlue. Have used my state Relay Service for phone calls ever since it started in the 1990's. I am now considering more than ever finding out if I qualify for CI. Over the years have had logistics and insurance considerations. The insurance question probably disappeared a few years ago when I went on Medicare but the logistics has not.

I know I have said something very similar in other threads . . . but. I took ASL as a community college night class twice (two different years) and made NO contacts to even practice with outside of class. So, of course, I have forgotten 99% of what I did learn. There does not seem to be much of a deaf community around here (ZIP code 62801) as it have been years since I happened seen anyone signing in a store or anywhere else.

I still have great trouble wrapping my head around the idea that American Sign Language (ASL) was developed with such different grammar than American English! Yes, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet went to a French expert but he was from the USA and knew that English was the dominant language. So . . . why didn't it get set up with English grammar????


You sound like a hearing person only that you are hard of hearing (HOH) that you want to use SEE or have English grammar which we would rather sign with pictures without some personal words. Just like Reba said. We use picture signs to make a story or a point in explaining about any thing we want to say in the conversation. We do often use that in Deaf events or socialized clubs or meetings, even theatre. ASL is much better than SEE. We don't want to use the full sentences to explain the whole thing in our conversations.

Yeah, that is what schools, not in college but both elementary and high school had tried to use SEE which was not that great to explain in topic courses. That suck. I hate oral-only method in a mainstream schools. I would rather sign ASL. I struggled with mainstream schools who don't have ASL and only want us to use oral-only method. That is part of oppression that the teachers and principal including the board of education forced us to use only oral-only method. That is what diehardbiker was talking about being forced against our will.

Now you are saying we should use straight English grammar in sign language when we don't want to change it as we are comfortable and adapted to our ASL. You just going to have to follow our ways or you can sign SEE and find someone who can sign SEE. So deal with it. :cool2:
 

90sWizKid

Member
I think this is a rather difficult question to truly answer. While we do have our personal preferences, the truth is, none of us can ever actually experience both and make a truly informed choice. I was born hearing and have been gradually losing it since the 3rd grade so I have had a different hearing loss experience than someone who was born profoundly deaf.
 

90sWizKid

Member
Why fight it? It makes it more difficult to learn a second language if you can't accept it for what it is. That goes for all languages.


It's not English, that's why. It's ASL. It's not a spoken language, it's a visual spatial language. If you would think about it, the sign order of ASL makes perfect sense.

For example, when describing the location of something, start with the big general picture and add descriptors to get the precise image. CAR>SMALL>TWO-DOOR>RED. It's like a drawing. Sketch the car outline first, modify it to small, draw in the two doors, and then color it red. That makes more sense than "a small two-door red car." If you start with "small," how do you draw a descriptive "small" without a referent? Small what? If you start with "red" you have a blob of red what?

Another example:
"Where is your classroom?"

"Strayer College>Downtown Campus>Building 40>Second Floor>Room 260."


Otherwise, starting with "Room 260"--where? What building? Which campus?

Order of priority in ASL, topic first then the action or state of being regarding that topic. "BOOK>GIVE-ME." Or, chronological order of a sequence of events. ELEMENTARY-SCHOOL>MIDDLE-SCHOOL>HIGH-SCHOOL>COLLEGE. Or, procedural order. SHAMPOO>RINSE>TOWEL-DRY. Logical.


Then, there is facial grammar. ASL depends on visual cues, and spoken languages depend on audible differences in tone. ASL uses eyebrows to indicate question statements. So? Spoken languages use rising and lowering voice pitches to make question statements.

For emphasis, ASL signs get larger or smaller, change speed, or repetitive. Spoken words get louder or softer, change speed, or repeat. So?

You deserve a medal!! I'm HoH and have been trying to learn ASL because 1)I'm gradually losing my hearing and it may end up completely gone, and 2)I am a special education teacher for children with severe/multiple disabilities and Sign is a wonderful way to teach communication for them

Anyways, I have been trying to learn it for a few years now but have given up multiple times because of the grammar issue. Every book and website I have read has not described it that well. The way you described made SO much sense and I feel like I can maybe grasp it now!! Thank You!!!!
 

Audiofuzzy

Well-Known Member
Really? Why worried how they would manage hearing loss? When one worries about dealing with everyday life, what do u call it? The only explaination is knowing oppressors will always be around oppressing them because of hearing loss. Like maybe that person who lost their hearing have to deal with their people who dont believe or take hearing loss as serious, what do you call that? I cant come up with other term than oppression.

You know what, chillax already with this "oppressive" stuff. you seem to have a serious unhealthy fixation on the subject.

Sure, it's true out there happen to be some unfriendly, impolite jerks who will make it difficult for the deaf/Hoh person.
So what, jerks like that are everywhere for everyone. and everyone have to deal with them - such is life.

But the majority of people are good and are willing to help.

This, however, has nothing or little to do with difficulties of losing one's any sense, whether is hearing, seeing, smelling, touching or whatever, late in life.
It's the learning how to cope without something you are used to to your entire life that is challenging. THAT is what people losing their hearing later in life worry about, not your overblown "oppression".


Fuzzy
 

Audiofuzzy

Well-Known Member
Why fight it? It makes it more difficult to learn a second language if you can't accept it for what it is. That goes for all languages.


It's not English, that's why. It's ASL. It's not a spoken language, it's a visual spatial language. If you would think about it, the sign order of ASL makes perfect sense.

I LOVE your explanation! I sometimes get into heated debates with my counterparts who doesn't understand why "deaf people" have such "horrible grammar" - were they that bad at school, or what?
It is always hard to me to explain to them that whether is it Polish SL or ASL or whatever nationality, SL is not the same as spoken or written language.

You do not translate SL directly into spoken/written language the way you can with same foreign languages, like English to French for example.
Visual/spatial language, order of priority - I think this will help a lot, thanks Reba!


Fuzzy
 

diehardbiker

Active Member
Audiofuzzy, and other HOH/latened Deaf here is a question, do you want lose your hearing?

Simple answer is sufficient and I only expect either Y or N from you and other HOH members here.
 

diehardbiker

Active Member
FYI, ASL is definitely a spoken language, period. However, ASL was never formally as recognized written language, it is not there yet but in future... only maybe. There are many spoken languages in the world, believe it or not some of them have not reach to the point of written language as of yet. So don't get confuse about "Spoken" because it can be used either visual, audio without using paper and pen or whatever that is considered as "Documented"

The only difference between ASL, foreign sign language (BSL, LSQ, etc), and the rest of language in the world is the sense being used. ASL, BSL, LSQ, etc use visual, while the rest is sound.

English language was once as spoken language, took years for ancestors figuring out how to make it written as it is today. Basically all language starts with as spoken, written becomes available at later time.
 

Jiro

If You Know What I Mean
Premium Member
FYI, ASL is definitely a spoken language, period. However, ASL was never formally as recognized written language, it is not there yet but in future... only maybe. There are many spoken languages in the world, believe it or not some of them have not reach to the point of written language as of yet. So don't get confuse about "Spoken" because it can be used either visual, audio without using paper and pen or whatever that is considered as "Documented"

The only difference between ASL, foreign sign language (BSL, LSQ, etc), and the rest of language in the world is the sense being used. ASL, BSL, LSQ, etc use visual, while the rest is sound.

English language was once as spoken language, took years for ancestors figuring out how to make it written as it is today. Basically all language starts with as spoken, written becomes available at later time.

you are very confused........... I don't even know where to begin....
 

Jiro

If You Know What I Mean
Premium Member
ASL is a visual language. Can it be written? probably not. Again - it's a visual language INDEPENDENT of spoken language and to make a written version of it... hieroglyphs would make better sense.

Basically all language starts with as spoken, written becomes available at later time.

I might have to disagree with you there. It is believed that in the earliest course of humanity, a written language came first... by neothandrals - maybe. I mean if you want to call a series of gruntings and screamings as a spoken language.... cool. agree to disagree.

while there is no consensus in scientific community on which came first, we can surmise a spoken language is a very complex process... a sign of higher intelligence and established social society with enough time for a spoken language to be developed. back then, cavemen were nomads. there were no need to communicate each other intelligently other than grunting and screaming because it was not part of their survival needs and their brains weren't well-developed. plus - their life were very short. too short to develop an intelligent spoken language. best they could do to tell stories were gesturing and drawing.

when cavemen evolved from hunter-gatherer into agricultural society... they had sufficient time to develop a spoken language.

now which spoken language came first? we don't know. best we can do is look at any recorded history... for now - we believe Sumerian language was the first spoken language.
 

diehardbiker

Active Member
Listen pal, no I am not confused. Your right there is no scientific proof which comes first, but likely screaming and stupid (Sarcasm) gestures is what to begin with, they were spoken language. Written using rules, grammar structure, and so on that bunch of old timers developed and later agrees and becomes official for years to come. How one can have written that is not recognized as a language that others can understand? Written language takes time to develop by early days of civilians so it has to come from spoken language to begin with.

Spoken meaning a person talks to another person by trying to relay their thought to another, that is speaking it can be by voice or hands and is not permanent etched to anything. Two speaks each other is just a communication between two or more parties. That is why ASL is a spoken language. If it is not, then what is it called, really?

ASL is one of most misunderstood language, because almost all languages were based on audio (Using voice to relay the information to one another) while language by visual is hardly notice by anyone and generally they assume they are gesture in their standpoint of the view.
 

Jiro

If You Know What I Mean
Premium Member
Listen pal, no I am not confused. Your right there is no scientific proof which comes first, but likely screaming and stupid (Sarcasm) gestures is what to begin with, they are spoken language. Written using rules, grammer structure, and so on that bunch of old timer agrees and becomes official for years to come. How one can have written that is not recognized as a language that others can understand?
how do you think nethanderals communicate with each other and work together to hunt animals? by gesturing and drawing something assisted by verbal cue! a visual language.

grunting/screaming/etc was more of an audible cue rather than a spoken language.

Spoken meaning a person talks to another person by trying to relay their thought to another, that is speaking it can be by voice or hands and is not permanent etched to anything. Two speaks each other is just a communication between two or more parties. That is why ASL is a spoken language. If it is not, then what is it called, really?
a visual language.

ASL is one of most misunderstood language, because almost all languages were based on audio (Using voice to relay the information to one another) while language by visual is hardly notice by anyone and generally they assume they are gesture in their standpoint of their view.
lol.... I think the experts would disagree with you. the easiest and quickest way to convey message is by visual language.

ever wonder why there's a saying "a picture is worth a thousand words"?

ever wonder why an infant can communicate first with sign language than speaking?

ever wonder why hearing people still gestures and use pictures? because it's easiest and quickest way to convey and to understand. a visual language. most likely the first intelligent language used by cavemen before a spoken language was developed on intellectual level.

that's why we began with drawing/hieroglyph before we used symbols/letters.

to call it as a "spoken language".... it'd have to be sophisticated enough to convey an intended message to another party. conveying a message via grunting/screaming/noise is not really considered as a language.

how exactly can a caveman convey a message via grunting to another caveman that he wants him to hunt for a buffalo? he most likely communicated by gesturing or drawing assisted with verbal cues (grunting, clicking, screaming, etc).

so the argument that a written/visual language came first before a spoken language is pretty strong on a scientific viewpoint.

ASL is a spoken language? *chuckling* I don't know what's going on with you, man *smh*
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
Listen pal, no I am not confused. Your right there is no scientific proof which comes first, but likely screaming and stupid (Sarcasm) gestures is what to begin with, they were spoken language. Written using rules, grammar structure, and so on that bunch of old timers developed and later agrees and becomes official for years to come. How one can have written that is not recognized as a language that others can understand? Written language takes time to develop by early days of civilians so it has to come from spoken language to begin with.

Spoken meaning a person talks to another person by trying to relay their thought to another, that is speaking it can be by voice or hands and is not permanent etched to anything. Two speaks each other is just a communication between two or more parties. That is why ASL is a spoken language. If it is not, then what is it called, really?

ASL is one of most misunderstood language, because almost all languages were based on audio (Using voice to relay the information to one another) while language by visual is hardly notice by anyone and generally they assume they are gesture in their standpoint of the view.

You would be right in that the written form is "permanently etched" until it's discarded, but "a person talks to another person by trying to relay their thought to another" can also be done in the written form.

ASL is definitely not a spoken language. It's not a written language either. It's a form of communication, period.
 

diehardbiker

Active Member
Communication involves two basic activities, it is called speaking, and listening. What else? Maybe you don't know, animals DO vocal, body language communicate with other animals. It has been proven over and over again. When it comes to reading, one writes, and other read them.

Like I said earlier, ASL is one of most misunderstood language, it IS in fact a spoken language because there are listener out there listening to what one has to speak.


You would be right in that the written form is "permanently etched" until it's discarded, but "a person talks to another person by trying to relay their thought to another" can also be done in the written form.

ASL is definitely not a spoken language. It's not a written language either. It's a form of communication, period.
 
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