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In what language do deaf people think? - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Dec. 10th, 2010

01:37 pm - In what language do deaf people think?

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The sign language most commonly used in the U.S. is American Sign Language, sometimes called Ameslan or just Sign. Those not conversant in Sign may suppose that it's an invented form of communication like Esperanto or Morse code. It's not. It's an independent natural language, evolved by ordinary people and transmitted culturally from one generation to the next.
via straightdope.com

I had no idea Sign was a natural language. I've always thought that it was an invented language, like Esperanto.

Posted via email from crasch's posterous

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From:evelynne
Date:December 10th, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
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That article pretty much explains why it makes me twitch when people talk about forcing their prelingually deaf kid to learn English at the expense of sign. Little kids are language sponges -- they should be learning BOTH. ASL so they have a full grasp of language and English so they can communicate with the world around them.

I'm post-lingually HOH, so I never really learned to sign, though I know enough to have a toddler-like conversation. My favorite thing about sign language is that the grammar is spatial; for example, you designate spaces for the things you're talking about and point to them as you refer to them. Read the "referent locus system" section in this Wiki. Actually the whole thing is freaking fascinating.
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