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Sign Language Continuum

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by

Lisa Koch

on 27 January 2015

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Transcript of Sign Language Continuum

Sign Language Continuum
Signed Languages
English ASL
MCE PSE

There is more than one “signed” language.
Sign Language Continuum
The Continuum describes the contrasts between ASL, Pidgin Signed English (PSE) and the various forms of Manually Coded English (MCE).

ASL/ MCE
ASL is considered its own language due to the unique rules of grammar different from English.

By stark contrast, Manually Coded English (MCE) systems are not distinct languages. MCE systems borrow ASL signs, but use English sentence structure.

MCE
Signs were invented which were needed to express components of English grammar not found in ASL.

Pidgin Signed English (PSE) falls somewhere in the middle by preserving the conceptual meaning of ASL while using a more English-like word order.

2010
American Sign Language ASL
ASL is a visual and manual language made up of signs created with the hands, facial expressions, and body posture and movement.

ASL
It maintains conceptually accurate communication.

It is a language in and of itself, with its own grammar and vocabulary.


ASL
Over 60% of ASL communication depends on expression and facial grammar with minimal mouth movements.

It conveys ideas, information, and emotion with as much range, complexity, and versatility as spoken languages.


ASL
ASL is the language typically used among Deaf adults. ASL is not encoded English nor is it universal.
Pidgin Signed English/PSE
PSE describes naturally occurring varieties which incorporate traditional ASL signs in a flexible English grammatical order.

PSE
English is mouthed exactly as spoken when interpreted. Signs are used with an attempt to retain the conceptual meaning of ASL rather than English, so that "right" would be signed different ways depending on its conceptually accurate meaning.

Manually Coded English/MCE
MCE is the term for contrived systems for encoding English in manual form.

Examples of MCE are Signing Exact English (SEE), LOVE, Manual English, Signed English, and many other derivatives.

MCE
These systems of visual English are attempts to precisely represent the English language, both its grammar and vocabulary, through the means of speech reading.

Signs are placed in English order with signs representing English grammatical forms, such as suffixes and prefixes.

MCE
Many systems of sign English have been developed in response to a desire of some educators to teach English to deaf children.

Many of these English sign systems currently in use are the center of great controversy.

MCE
Studies show that MCE, due to its inability to conceptually translate information, may be detrimental to acquiring literacy.

Difference between ASL and MCE
ASL is considered its own language due to the unique rules of grammar different from English.

In contrast, Manually Coded English (MCE) systems are not distinct languages.

Difference between ASL and MCE
The usefulness of MCE is at the forefront of debate.

This controversy is mainly due to the borrowing of ASL signs and the claim and misconception that MCE is a language.

Difference between ASL and MCE
MCE was invented in an attempt to show English grammar on the hands.

MCE systems borrowed ASL signs, but used English sentence structure.

Signs were invented which were needed to express components of English grammar not found in ASL.


Although word-for-word translation of ASL makes it look like bad English, it must be stressed that this is no more the case than word-for-word translation of French, Russian, or Chinese would be bad English.

Examples: ASL - School finish, zoom me.

Sign English - When school close, I am leave fast.

Manual English - When school closes, I am leaving fast.
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