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Transcript of ASL
Leal Carter, Jasmine Eshkar, Julia Pearlstein-Levy, and Caitlyn Pineault
ASL: The Overview
But what is ASL?
A Language or Not a Language?
Unique grammatical rules and syntax
Not "broken" or "simplified" English
Not a code
More than pantomime
Can be used to discuss ANYTHING!
Has puns and slang
Does not have a culture
"Language" = "Tongue"
Too different from spoken languages
American Sign Language IS a language
But wait! There are more!
Gestuno = "universal sign language"
Created at the 1st World Deaf Conference in 1951
Pidgin sign language
Not as complex
National Institute of
Child Health and
Autistic Children Signing
Born to Deaf Parents-
Myth or Fact?
Children of Deaf Parents
will have trouble learning
how to speak
Deaf parents don't know
when their babies cry
of deaf parents
should speak and
sign at the same time.
Having these children
learn sign language will
be confusing to them
Children and ASL
-Respond by Crying
-Sensitive to loud noises
-Respond by Crying
-Sensitive to lights, shadows and smells
(During this stage, sensory input
shapes brain's organization)
0-6 mo. Early prelinguistic
6-12 mo. Later prelinguistic
12-18 mo. Sign single words
18-24 mo. Early sign combinations
24-26 mo. Multisign combinations
3-4 yrs. Multisign combinations
5 yrs. Adult-like Language
-Deaf children fall behind in vocabulary
-Three different categories of Deaf Learners:
novel mappers, rapid word learners, and slow word learners
-Hearing language-learners mix up grammar and syntax, deaf language-learners will not do this.
-Deaf children do not learn negation, determiner, or question system
-The first words they learn must
cause some sort of change. (Ex. Mom!)
-Both Hearing and Deaf Children
develop the pointing gesture at the
-Both will use 2 word combinations
by age 2
-Symbolic play encourages language
development in both
0-6 mo. Early prelinguistic
6-12 mo. Later prelinguistic
12-18 mo. Can say single words
(vocabulary of about 5-20 words)
18-24 mo. Early word combinations.
Short, simple sentences. noun-verb
24 mo-4 yrs. More complicated word
6 yrs. Speech completely intelligible
and socially useful
Sign language helps to bridge the two hemispheres of the brain. This gives children two different ways to access a word and its meaning.
Using sign with verbal language meets the needs of auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners.
Similar to children raised bilingually- overall higher performance in language skills when two languages are paired. Perhaps higher effects when both languages can be expressed simultaneously.
Carr, E & Kologinsky, E. (1983)
Ticani, M (Jan 2004)
Thompson, R. H., McKerchar, P. M., & Dancho, K. A. (2004)
Thompson. R. H, Contnoir-Bichelman, N.M, McKerchar, P.M, Tate, T.L & Dancho, K.A., (2007)
Children with autism struggle with the complexity of spoken language.
Sign language creates an avenue of communication that strengthens speech and language development in the brain.
This allows them to use language at a higher level.
Nouns vs. Abstract Ideas
Different Sign Languages
Signs reflect culture
60% of ASL signs came from FSL
Hearing parents typically
learn sign language.
There are lots of
resources for this.
Often, they will learn
sign language along
with their child
Nine out of 10 children who are born deaf are born to parents who hear
children who are deaf
can learn to sign quite
fluently from their parents,
even when their parents
might not be perfectly
Early Intervention System
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Similar to English
Easier for non-deaf people to pick-up
Easier for writing in English
Can discuss abstract ideas
Connected to deaf culture
Signed Exact English
I love apple pie.
I love apple pie I.
Apple pie I love.
Love apple pie I.
Apple pie love I.
Body language makes up 60% of the exchanges between hearing people
"Without a language, there is no culture; without a culture, there is no self-identity; without self-identity, you must go on trying to be what others demand you to be." ~ Lou Fant
"Language is not something done by the mouth. Language is something done by the brain, and the mouth is one way it can come up." ~ William Stokoe
Positive thinking in the deaf community:
Disadvantages in the deaf community
Trouble in the hearing workforce
deafness can be isolating in hearing world
Fosters a unique culture and community
Pride in deaf accomplishments
It's hard for us to imagine being happy living without sound but some claim they prefer it that way...
Trouble making hearing friends and seeking romantic partners
But how do deaf people perceive themselves?
MYTH: deaf people often consider their deafness a disability
So how can deaf people adapt and/or live comfortably in a hearing world?
*20 cities are currently identified as deaf friendly in the U.S., among them Seattle, Austin & Boston
So how does the cochlear implant work?
* Note the implant is not a hearing aid nor a solution to deafness!
BUT HERE IS HOW IT WORKS...
Step 1: Sounds are picked up by a microphone placed in the ear
Step 2: Speech processor turns sound into coded signals
Step 3: These signals are sent to a transmitter that relays them to the cochlear implant which has been surgically placed under the skin
Step 4: Using this info and super cool science the implant delivers the right amount of energy to electrodes
Step 5: Now stimulated, the electrodes can stimulate nerve fibers in the cochlea which send sound to the brain for interpretation
This sounds awesome, so where is the controversy?
Better interaction with the hearing world
better hearing-parent, deaf-child relationship
Better quality of life(?)
Deaf world often sees it as opting out of deaf culture
Parents must make this huge decision for their deaf children
It is dangerous
Implant only gives sound representation-not a key to spoken language-the process to make out what sounds mean requires a lot of support and time
It can be isolating if some deaf family members are implanted and others are not
Cochlear implant controversy:
WHAT DO YOU THINK:
Will deaf culture and sign be lost if cochlear implants are popularized? Is it right for parents, specifically hearing parents, to make this sort of decision for their kids?
ASL HAS CULTURE THE PROOF IS IN THE POETRY
Deaf Poetry was not recognized as a legitimate art form until 1970s
In 1971 "My Third Eye" was the 1st original play/work performed in sign
1976, Dorothy Meyers- "Gestures"
1984 Allen Ginsberg shakes poetry world at National Tech. Institute for the Deaf meeting& inspires Patrick Graybill
Poets like Peter Cook and Clayton Valli make their way onto the scene
How it Works:
rhyme, rhythm, alliteration with hands!
Only Performed, based in motion and expression
Only 100 published works circulating
Based in Written and spoken Language
Countless published works and criticisms
Use rhythm, symbolism, metaphors, imagery & rhyme
Both aim to evoke an emotional response!
Increase in intensity and speed
Noone, nobody, and refuse don't require negative facial expression
Who needs 'em?
"-s" is an English tool, plurality is implied
Ways to pluralize:
Number or quantifier
Cluster affix (group) or demonstrative pronouns
Repeat noun to the right
Get to the point.
-------------- q -------------
Ice cream you want some?
--wq - Time? (underlined)
Want go I? Yes, I want go.
We have blue bowl++.
Not "to be"
Tense? Relax: Time indicators with raised eyebrows
No modified endings
English teacher heaven
In/on --> Past/future
They need finish job.
born, broke, caught, forgot, got, left, lost, saw, sold, told, won, fed up, shot, wrote, stole, tore
Bob continue think++.
The Devilish Details
At the turn of the 20th century sign-master storytelling
can we call this progress or are solely speech classrooms a return to the past?
-Sign closer to infant
-Full palm facing infant
-Directed eye gaze
What are they?
Handshapes that represent a group of objects
Show size, shape, and relative placement
CL 3: Vehicles
CL L: Perimiters
CL C: Round Objects (ie tubes)
CL F: Small, Round Objects
CL B: Flat surfaces
When were these rules established?
How does an understanding of ASL shape the deaf world?
ASL Throughout the Ages
Laurent Clerc taught Thomas Gallaudet FSL. Gallaudet founded ASD.
Alexander Gram Bell stigmatized ASL. Deaf schools moved away from signs.
1880: National Association of Deaf
1955: William Stokey began research
1960: Early findings
Late 60s: Recognized language
1968: National Technical Institute for Deaf
1988: Student Protests and Deaf President for Gallaudet
1990: American Disabilities Act
Lip Reading and Speech
Now that you know...
This information was largely biased against lip reading. Can you think of a way to justify it as a means of communication?
Do you think American attitudes towards the deaf world have changed as a result of learning more about ASL? Or is that too much of a stretch?
What information was new or surprising to you?
Have your impressions of ASL changed now that you know its structure? If yes, how so? If no, why not?
Have your impressions of deafness changed now that you know more about ASL?
In a nutshell (or pink rectangle)...
Position of hand
Orientation of hand
Unlike this guy...