American Sign Language

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ILuvEire
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American Sign Language

Postby ILuvEire » 2008-05-04, 9:47

ASL Lesson 1: Introduction

Hi!
I'm going to do my best to make some ASL lessons here. It will mostly be about grammar, and maybe fingerspelling, but I have no way to make videos to show you the signs. So, I'll just direct you to one of the dictionaries.

So, how about an introduction?

ASL and English are NOT the same. BSL (British Sign Language) is not mutually intelligible with ASL. ASL is related to Old French Sign Language (OFSL), and BSL is related to Australian, and New Zealand Sign Language (I believe). Sign language is also not a primitive form of English. It's a proper language, only instead of being spoken with the mouth, it's spoken with the hands. There are many movies in ASL (this year is in fact one of the best years for ASL movies).

I'm sure you understand by now. Sign language is just as in-depth as spoken language, with language families and distinct grammar.

The second most important thing to know about ASL is that just signing is not going to cut it. Your body posture, facial expression, head/body movement, etc. are all very important! For example: the word like can be signed with your body "looking happy" as I like to say (smiling, erect, just generally pleasant), or with your body "looking sad" (slouched, frowning etc.) The first one conveys like, and the second dislike. Using the same sign!

Something to also understand is the use of speech. Most hearing people can't understand deafness. If you talk, the receiver can also glean further meaning from your signs, through lip reading and maybe slight hearing (if they are using a hearing aid or something).

To understand ASL you also must understand deafness and all the terms that go along with that. Here are some "vocabular words":P
Adventitious Deafness: A person is born hearing, but it becomes non-functional later in life.
Audiogram: A graph on which hearing tests are recorded.
Congenital Deafness: People who are born deaf; the opposite of adventitious deafness.
Dactology: A big word for fingerspelling.
Fingerspelling: Use of the Manual Alphabet to form words and sentences.
Manual Alphabet: The ABC's of ASL.
Post-Lingual Deafness: Deafness after you learn how to talk.
Pre-Lingual deafness: Deafness occurring before you learn how to talk.
Total Communication: The use of all means of communication to prevent many ways of communication-hearing aids, lip reading, ASL, writing etc.

Next lesson we will begin talking about how to actually sign.

In the mean time:
My Favorite ASL Dictionary-ASLPro
An In-Depth History of ASL
Last edited by ILuvEire on 2009-02-01, 7:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby TheWallaby » 2008-06-04, 19:22

I just started taking ASL lessons at the local community college! :D Are you going to post any more here? I'd be eager to read more.

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Postby Mikael » 2008-07-02, 18:33

I hope it's alright that I post this.

This is my favorite resource at the moment. ASL University I've been using the lessons along with the ASL-Pro dictionary that is linked above. It's full of lessons and workbook activities. It also has quite a bit about ASL and Deaf history.

Hopefully this is as helpful to others as it is for me.
*~

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Re: American Sign Language

Postby ILuvEire » 2009-01-06, 9:04

The basics of ASL Verbs:
There are three classes of verbs. The first class is verbs that alter in direction. The sign for LOOK is made with the V HAND with the palm facing whatever is in the accusative case, and the back of the hand facing whatever's in the nominative case. This is the largest group.

The second class is verbs that alter their direction, but in the opposite way of the first class. INVITE is signed with a beckoning gesture. The palm moved toward the nominative case, and away from the accusative case. These verbs are quite rare.

The third case is the second most common. These verbs never change direction. An example would be LOVE. It's just signed with your closed hands crossed over your chest. No matter what.

The first two classes don't require pronouns. In fact, it looks very English-y to do leave in pronouns.

The basics of PSE Verbs:
PSE verbs are exactly like ASL verbs, but they require pronouns at all times.
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Re: American Sign Language

Postby Sean of the Dead » 2009-01-08, 0:56

Are you gonna continue? I'm following along. :D
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Re: American Sign Language

Postby Sean of the Dead » 2009-01-13, 23:23

Fine, I guess you don't want us to learn ASL. :cry:
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Re: American Sign Language

Postby ILuvEire » 2009-01-14, 5:17

sjheiss wrote:Fine, I guess you don't want us to learn ASL. :cry:


Lol, I've been trying to figure out what else to write about. I ordered a grammar to see how they explain it. So hard!
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Re: American Sign Language

Postby Quetzalcoatl » 2009-01-15, 23:03

very interesting... :ohwell:

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Re:

Postby ILuvEire » 2009-01-16, 5:04

Mikael wrote:I hope it's alright that I post this.

This is my favorite resource at the moment. ASL University I've been using the lessons along with the ASL-Pro dictionary that is linked above. It's full of lessons and workbook activities. It also has quite a bit about ASL and Deaf history.

Hopefully this is as helpful to others as it is for me.


I don't know why I never noticed this before. You guys should go here!

If you have any questions about those lessons, or about ASL in General, I'll answer you and try to make a video if it's wanted. :)
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Re: American Sign Language

Postby Sean of the Dead » 2009-01-16, 5:08

I want to see a video of you "saying" something in ASL. Nothing specific, just a couple sentences. ;)
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Re: Re:

Postby Mikael » 2009-01-16, 6:45

ILuvEire wrote:
Mikael wrote:I hope it's alright that I post this.

This is my favorite resource at the moment. ASL University I've been using the lessons along with the ASL-Pro dictionary that is linked above. It's full of lessons and workbook activities. It also has quite a bit about ASL and Deaf history.

Hopefully this is as helpful to others as it is for me.


I don't know why I never noticed this before.


Back when I thought it would be fun to learn ASL! That motivation left as soon as it came. :P
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Re: American Sign Language

Postby ILuvEire » 2009-01-17, 5:43

sjheiss wrote:I want to see a video of you "saying" something in ASL. Nothing specific, just a couple sentences. ;)


I'm going to attempt to put it on Youtube, but I had to go to my kitchen to film it, cause there's not enough light anywhere.

Here's my transcript:

"Hey!
My name is Tyler, and on Unilang my name is ILuvEire. This video is for Sjheiss.
Peace!"

And then I did another one, because I felt like talking about something else. The second one said:

"Hey!
I'm listening to the song "I believe" by R. Kelly. It's about Barack Obama. I like it, but I'm not a democrat.
Peace!"

EDIT: BTW, I did this very "spur of the moment" so it's very PSE.
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Re: American Sign Language

Postby ILuvEire » 2009-01-17, 6:12

[flag]de[/flag] [flag]da[/flag] [flag]fr-qc[/flag] [flag]haw[/flag] [flag]he[/flag] [flag]es[/flag]
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Re: American Sign Language

Postby Mikael » 2009-01-17, 6:13

That's really cool!
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Re: American Sign Language

Postby ILuvEire » 2009-01-17, 17:06

Mikael wrote:That's really cool!


Thanks!

In ASLing Again, I misspelled Democrat, that's why I made that face. Lol.
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Re: American Sign Language

Postby linguaholic » 2009-01-17, 17:27

Is there no sign for Democrat?

I don't know any ASL but in the videos I've seen so far (song translations and stuff) there seems to be quite a lot of fingerspelling.

Oh and I love the "peace" sign in the end. :)
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Re: American Sign Language

Postby ILuvEire » 2009-01-17, 18:15

linguaholic wrote:Is there no sign for Democrat?

I don't know any ASL but in the videos I've seen so far (song translations and stuff) there seems to be quite a lot of fingerspelling.

Oh and I love the "peace" sign in the end. :)


In the first one I fingerspelled "Tyler" "ILuvEire" "Sjheiss" and "Unilang." It was much more fingerspelling than I'm used to.

Also, there is a sign for Democrat, but it's just shaking the D. So I was scared that it would be ambiguous to whoever was receiving. I hate being ambiguous. Usually, I would spell democrat, and then every time I talked about democrats I would do the D shaking instead.
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Re: American Sign Language

Postby linguaholic » 2009-01-17, 18:34

Yeah the remark about lots of fingerspelling wasn't about your videos specifically, I figured from the translation that there would be lots of names, I was only wondering about the Democrat thing. Thanks for the explanation! :)

I'm amazed at how fast fingerspelling is possible, by the way. I used to have a "secret finger alphabet" with my sister (and a sign language, though it was more signed German) and though we were fast, I'm sure our fingers never looked as flexible. We had mostly whole-hand-shapes, not fingershapes and used two hands though.
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Re: American Sign Language

Postby ILuvEire » 2009-01-18, 6:05

linguaholic wrote:Yeah the remark about lots of fingerspelling wasn't about your videos specifically, I figured from the translation that there would be lots of names, I was only wondering about the Democrat thing. Thanks for the explanation! :)

I'm amazed at how fast fingerspelling is possible, by the way. I used to have a "secret finger alphabet" with my sister (and a sign language, though it was more signed German) and though we were fast, I'm sure our fingers never looked as flexible. We had mostly whole-hand-shapes, not fingershapes and used two hands though.


Lol, I can sometimes fingerspell faster, but my old camera wouldn't pick it up. My hand would just be a blur, so I had to go slowly, and I just got in that bad habit.

I heard through the grapevine, that I'm getting a digital camera so maybe I'll be able to make some good videos. :)
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Re: American Sign Language

Postby ILuvEire » 2009-01-28, 6:59

ASL Questions:
In ASL the question word always goes at the end. A video that explains the different question words, here. He rambles quite a bit, you can fast forward to 3:30. :P

With a question containing an interrogative, you furrow your eyebrows together, tilt your head forward and hold the last sign.

The word order in an interrogative question is (INTERROGATIVE) - (S) - (O) - V - INTERROGATIVE. That means that the sentence "WHERE YOU WORK WHERE" is just as grammatical as "WORK WHERE."

Asking a yes/no question involves raising your eyebrows and widening your eyes, an tilt your head forward. You should also hold your last sign. A question mark can also be thrown at the end (draw a question mark in the air). Most people don't sign the question mark, but you need to be able to recognize it.

The word order remains (S)(O)V. The only difference is the facial expression and optional question mark.

Rhetorical Questions:
These are used much more in ASL than in English. Raise your eyebrows then tilt your head to the side and back. These usually use interrogatives, and the interrogative seldom goes at the beginning along with the end.

These are used as a copula very frequently. The sentence "That cat is green" would most likely be signed "THAT CAT WHAT? GREEN."

It can also be used when an English speaker would choose "because." Look at the following dialogue:
"Why did you go to the store?
I went to the store because I was hungry." In ASL this would be expressed:

"WHY YOU STORE GO WHY?
STORE GO WHY? HUNGRY"

These are the most common uses of the Rhetorical question. :)
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