Here’s the succinct handbook that will allow everyone to enjoy the beauty and functionality of American Sign Language. 1,000 Signs of Life: Basic ASL for Everyday Conversation illustrates a potpourri of intriguing and entertaining signs that can be grasped quickly and used to communicate with anyone familiar with ASL, deaf or hearing. Organized alphabetically in 17 categories, this handy paperback offers common signs for animals, food, clothes, people, health and body, the time, days of the week, seasons, colors, quantities, transportation and travel, and many more practical topics. Readers also can learn signs for community-related terms, holidays and religion, and for thoughts and emotions, signs that will offer them the opportunity to experience the full potential of ASL.
1,000 Signs of Life begins with a concise introduction to American Sign Language, including how it evolved and how its grammar and syntax work. Complementing this information are categories on signs for adjectives and adverbs, prepositions and locations, question words, and verbs and action words. Interspersed throughout the text are tips for signing, rules of signing etiquette, and engaging anecdotes about Deaf culture, Deaf people, and the Deaf community. 1,000 Signs of Life provides a fun, fast way to learn basic ASL signs and also offers easy-to-follow instructions and hints on how to use them in a variety of everyday situations. It's the perfect streamlined guide for signing ASL.
Picking up where Innovative Practices in Teaching Sign Language Interpreters left off, this new collection presents the best new interpreter teaching techniques proven in action by the eminent contributors assembled here. In the first chapter, Dennis Cokely discusses revising curricula in the new century based upon experiences at Northeastern University. Jeffrey E. Davis delineates how to teach observation techniques to interpreters, while Elizabeth Winston and Christine Monikowski suggest how discourse mapping can be considered the Global Positioning System of translation.
In other chapters, Laurie Swabey proposes ways to handle the challenge of referring expressions for interpreting students, and Melanie Metzger describes how to learn and recognize what interpreters do in interaction. Jemina Napier contributes information on training interpreting students to identify omission potential. Robert G. Lee explains how to make the interpreting process come alive in the classroom. Mieke Van Herreweghe discusses turn-taking and turn-yielding in meetings with Deaf and hearing participants in her contribution. Anna-Lena Nilsson defines “false friends,” or how contextually incorrect use of facial expressions with certain signs in Swedish Sign Language can be detrimental influences on interpreters. The final chapter by Kyra Pollitt and Claire Haddon recommends retraining interpreters in the art of telephone interpreting, completing Advances in Teaching Sign Language Interpreters as the new authoritative volume in this vital communication profession.
The usual definition of the term “literacy” generally corresponds with mastering the reading and writing of a spoken language. This narrow scope often engenders unsubstantiated claims that print literacy alone leads to, among other so-called higher-order thinking skills, logical and rational thinking and the abstract use of language. Thus, the importance of literacy for deaf children in American Sign Language (ASL) is marginalized, asserts author Kristin Snoddon in her new book American Sign Language and Early Literacy: A Model Parent-Child Program. As a contrast, Snoddon describes conducting an ethnographic, action study of the ASL Parent-Child Mother Goose program, provided by a Deaf service agency in Ontario, Canada to teach ASL literacy to deaf children.
According to current scholarship, literacy is achieved through primary discourse shared with parents and other intimates, which establishes a child’s initial sense of identity, culture, and vernacular language. Secondary discourse derives from outside agents and interaction, such as expanding an individual’s literacy to other languages. Snoddon writes that the focus of the ASL Parent-Child Mother Goose program is on teaching ASL through rhymes and stories and some facets of the culture of Deaf ASL users. This focus enabled hearing parents to impart first-language acquisition and socialization to their deaf children in a more natural primary discourse as if the parents were Deaf themselves. At the same time, hearing parents experience secondary discourses through their exposure to ASL and Deaf culture.
Snoddon also comments on current infant hearing screening and early intervention and the gaps in these services. She discusses gatekeeper individuals and institutions that restrict access to ASL for young Deaf children and their families. Finally, she reports on public resources for supporting ASL literacy and the implications of her findings regarding the benefits of early ASL literacy programming for Deaf children and their families.
The American Sign Language Handshape Puzzle Book features 54 different puzzles to help students learn, review, and strengthen their signing vocabulary. Inspired by the bestselling dictionary, this unique workbook offers a variety of puzzles at three different levels — easy, medium, and difficult. Author Linda Lascelle Hillebrand provides a concise explanation of the basic handshapes used in American Sign Language (ASL), then invites readers to have fun while solving all sorts of sign puzzles.
Users can practice sign identification with Crossword and Word Search puzzles that have signs as clues rather than words. Easy puzzles show as few as six signs while advanced puzzles contain as many as 30 signs each. Some of the crossword puzzles provide spaces both across and down for the multiple meanings that many signs can represent.
Handshape Order puzzles require users to identify the handshape of the sign in an illustration, then list the sign’s meaning in English. Match puzzles also challenge readers to find corresponding signs for English glosses. Solutions to It Doesn’t Belong and Sign Description puzzles depend upon knowing the parameters of ASL signs—handshape, orientation, location, and movement—to deduce which word in a list doesn’t belong, and to write the English word for the described signs. The American Sign Language Handshape Puzzle Book is a new, different, and entertaining way to practice ASL that students of all ages are sure to enjoy.
Beginning signers now can improve their recognition of the most commonly used signs with this easy-to-follow handbook. The American Sign Language Handshape Starter illustrates 800 of the most frequently used signs, arranging them by the 40 standard handshapes used in American Sign Language (ASL). Carefully chosen for their common use, the signs also have been organized by day-to-day topics, including food, travel, family, sports, clothing, school terms, time, nature and animals, and many others from everyday conversation. The American Sign Language Handshape Starter begins with a confidence-building introduction to ASL use and structure, and tips on basic signing. It also provides a simple guide to finding signs that are either new or familiar to learn their meanings. With the Handshape Starter, new signers, their teachers, and their parents will find improvement in ASL to be faster and even more enjoyable.
A Newbridge Book Club Selection
"Discusses creative uses of signing to help children share what they have learned."
Come Sign With Us Book
Now, the new, completely revised Come Sign With Us offers more follow-up activities, including many in context, to teach children sign language. The second edition of this fun, fully illustrated activities manual features more than 300 line drawings of both adults and children signing familiar words, phrases, and sentences using American Sign Language (ASL) signs in English word order. Twenty lively lessons each introduce ten selected "Target Vocabulary" words in a format familiar and exciting to children, including holidays, pets, cars and trucks, and more. All signs have equivalent words listed in both English and Spanish.
Come Sign With Us shows how to form each sign exactly, and also presents the origins of ASL, interesting facts about deafness, and how people live in the Deaf community. Used with reading and grammar studies, the sign language learned from this book can help children improve their vocabulary retention and reading comprehension.
ISBN 1-56368-051-3, 8 Â½ x 11 softcover, 160 pages, line drawings, glossary
"The moment when a society must contend with a powerful language other than its own is a decisive point in its evolution. This moment is occurring now in American society." Cynthia Peters explains precisely how ASL literature achieved this moment, tracing its past and predicting its future in this trailblazing study.
Peters connects ASL literature to the literary canon with the archetypal notion of carnival as "the counterculture of the dominated." Throughout history carnivals have been opportunities for the "low," disenfranchised elements of society to displace their "high" counterparts. Citing the Deaf community's long tradition of "literary nights" and festivals like Deaf Way, Peters recognizes similar forces at work in the propagation of ASL literature. The agents of this movement, Deaf artists and ASL performers--"Tricksters," as Peters calls them--jump between the two cultures and languages, creating as synthesis that robs English of its literary content and raises ASL to an art form.
Peters applies her analysis to the craft's landmark works, including Douglas Bullard's novel Islay and Ben Bahan's video-recorded narrative Bird of a Different Feather. Deaf American Literature, the only work of its kind, is its own seminal moment in the emerging discipline of ASL literary criticism.
Cynthia Peters is Associate Professor and Introductory English Coordinator in the English Department at Gallaudet University.
Discovering Sign Language
Laura Greene Gallaudet University Press, 1981 Library of Congress HV2476.G73 1988 | Dewey Decimal 419
Children learn about different kinds of hearing loss, different sign systems, and the evolution of sign language in other countries, sign language games, and "How the Seasons Came to Be," a story in sign.
Personal narratives are one way people code their experiences and convey them to others. Given that speakers can simultaneously express information and define a social situation, analyzing how and why people structure the telling of personal narratives can provide insight into the social dimensions of language use. In Extraordinary from the Ordinary: Personal Experience Narratives in American Sign Language, Kristin Jean Mulrooney shows that accounts by Deaf persons expressed in ASL possess the same characteristics and perform the same function as oral personal narratives.
Mulrooney analyses12 personal narratives by ASL signers to determine how they “tell” their stories. She examines the ASL form of textual narration to see how signers use lexical signs to grammatically encode information, and how they also convey perceived narration. In perceived narration, the presenter depicts a past occurrence in the immediate environment that allows the audience to partially witness and interpret the event. Mulrooney determined that ASL narratives reveal a patterned structure consisting of an introduction, a main events section for identifying and describing past events, and a conclusion. They also can include background information, an explication section in which the presenter expands or clarifies an event, and a section that allows the presenter to explain his or her feelings about what happened. Liberally illustrated with photographs from videotaped narratives, Extraordinary from the Ordinary offers an engrossing, expansive view of personal narratives embodying the unique linguistic elements of ASL.
The meaning of any linguistic expression resides not only in the words, but also in the ways that those words are conveyed. In her new study, Miako N. P. Rankin highlights the crucial interrelatedness of form and meaning at all levels in order to consider specific types of American Sign Language (ASL) expression. In particular, Form, Meaning, and Focus in American Sign Language considers how ASL expresses non-agent focus, similar to the meaning of passive voice in English.
Rankin’s analyses of the form-meaning correspondences of ASL expressions of non-agent focus reveals an underlying pattern that can be traced across sentence and verb types. This pattern produces meanings with various levels of focus on the agent. Rankin has determined in her meticulous study that the pattern of form-meaning characteristic of non-agent focus in ASL is used prolifically in day-to-day language. The recognition of the frequency of this pattern holds implications regarding the acquisition of ASL, the development of curricula for teaching ASL, and the analysis of ASL discourse in effective interpretation.
Uyechi presents an extremely thorough and formal empirical description of the various features of ASL signs, of interest to any theoretician in developing a theory of sign phonology or in testing claims in the theory of the phonology of spoken languages against data from a signed language. The author also presents a formalism for representing signs and makes a number of theoretical proposals based on this formalism. The volume's analysis indicates that the properties of core constructs of the spoken-language phonology, namely the segment and the syllable, differ from the properties of the core constructs in a formal framework of visual phonology. The Geometry of Visual Phonology also differs from other analyses in concluding that such differences are not immediately reconcilable. This volume provides a framework for discussing crucial differences between signs and speech.
Gesture in Multiparty Interaction confronts the competing views that exist regarding gesture’s relationship to language. In this work, Emily Shaw examines embodied discourses in American Sign Language and spoken English and seeks to establish connections between sign language and co-speech gesture. By bringing the two modalities together, Shaw illuminates the similarities between certain phenomena and presents a unified analysis of embodied discourse that more clearly captures gesture’s connection to language as a whole.
Shaw filmed Deaf and hearing participants playing a gesture-based game as part of a social game night. Their interactions were then studied using discourse analysis to see whether and how Deaf and hearing people craft discourses through the use of their bodies. This volume examines gesture, not just for its iconic, imagistic qualities, but also as an interactive resource in signed and spoken discourse. In addition, Shaw addresses the key theoretical barriers that prevent a full accounting of gesture’s interface with signed and spoken language. Her study pushes further the notion that language is fundamentally embodied.
Get Your Elbow Off the Horn is a collection of interactions and observations written by Jack R. Gannon, a lifelong advocate for the Deaf community. Warm and amusing, Gannon’s stories begin with his rural childhood in the Ozarks and continue through his experiences as a student, educator, coach, husband, parent, and community leader. These vignettes reveal a down-to-earth family man who believed in making a difference one person at a time.
Many of his recollections are brief sketches that reveal much about being Deaf—and about being human. From reflecting on the difficult choices parents must make for their children, to recounting awkward communication exchanges, Gannon marries good humor with a poignant advocacy for sign language rights. His stories preserve and share Deaf American life and culture as he experienced it.
The story of how American Sign Language (ASL) came to be is almost mythic. In the early 19th century, a hearing American reverend, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, met a Deaf French educator, Laurent Clerc, who agreed to come to the United States and help establish the first school in America to use sign language to teach deaf children. The trail of ASL’s development meanders at this point. No documentation of early ASL was published until the late 19th century, almost seven decades after the school’s founding. While there are many missing pieces in the history of America’s sign language, plenty of data exist regarding ASL etymology. This book is the first to collect all known texts featuring illustrations of early ASL and historical images of French Sign Language—langue des signes française (LSF)—and link them with contemporary signs.
Through rigorous study of historical texts, field research in communities throughout France and the U.S., and an in-depth analysis of the cultural groups responsible for the lexicon, authors Emily Shaw and Yves Delaporte present a compelling and detailed account of the origins of over 500 ASL signs, including regional variations. Organized alphabetically by equivalent English glosses, each sign is accompanied by a succinct description of its origin and an LSF sign where appropriate. Featuring an introductory chapter on the history of the development of ASL and the etymological methodology used by the authors, this reference resource breaks new ground in the study of America’s sign language.
Deaf Americans have identified healthcare as the most difficult setting in which to obtain a qualified interpreter. Yet, relatively little attention has been given to developing evidence-based resources and a standardized body of knowledge to educate healthcare interpreters. In Our Hands: Educating Healthcare Interpreters addresses these concerns by delineating the best practices for preparing interpreters to facilitate full access for deaf people in healthcare settings.
The first section of this volume begins with developing domains and competencies toward a teaching methodology for medical and mental health interpreters. The next chapter describes a discourse approach that relies on analyzing actual transcripts and recordings to train healthcare interpreters. Other chapters feature a model mental health interpreter training program in Alabama; using a Demand-Control Schema for experiential learning; the risk of vicarious trauma to interpreters; online educational opportunities; and interpreting for deaf health care professionals. The second section offers four perspectives on education, including healthcare literacy of the clients; the education of Deaf interpreters; the development of standards for spoken-language healthcare interpreters; and the perspectives of healthcare interpreter educators in Europe. The range and depth of In Our Hands takes significant strides in presenting educational opportunities that can enhance the critical services provided by healthcare interpreters to deaf clients.
Researchers now understand interpreting as an active process between two languages and cultures, with social interaction, sociolinguistics, and discourse analysis as more appropriate theoretical frameworks. Roy's penetrating new book acts upon these new insights by presenting six dynamic teaching practices to help interpreters achieve the highest level of skill.
Elizabeth Winston and Christine Monikowski begin by explaining discourse mapping to enable students to develop a mental picture of a message's meaning and the relationships of context, form, and content. Kyra Pollitt discusses critical discourse analysis, to reveal some of the cultural influences that shape a speaker's language use. Melanie Metzger describes preparing role-plays so that students learn to effectively switch back and forth between languages, manage features such as overlap, and make relevant contributions to interaction, such as indicating the source of an utterance.
Jeffrey Davis illustrates the translation skills that form the basis for teaching consecutive and simultaneous interpreting to help students understand the intended meaning of the source message, and also the manner in which listeners understand it. Rico Peterson demonstrates the use of recall protocols, which can be used to teach metacognitive skills and to assess the student's sign language comprehension. Finally, Janice Humphrey details the use of graduation portfolios, a valuable assessment tool used by the faculty to determine a student's level of competency. These imaginative techniques in Innovative Practices promise gains in sign language interpreting that will benefit teachers, students, and clients alike in the very near future.
Cynthia B. Roy is Director of the ASL/English Interpreting Program at Indiana University/Purdue University in Indianapolis, IN.
Inside Deaf Culture
Carol A. Padden Harvard University Press, 2005 Library of Congress HV2545.P35 2005 | Dewey Decimal 305.90820973
In this absorbing story of the changing life of a community, the authors of Deaf in America reveal historical events and forces that have shaped the ways that Deaf people define themselves today. Inside Deaf Culture relates Deaf people’s search for a voice of their own, and their proud self-discovery and self-description as a flourishing culture.
Carol Padden and Tom Humphries show how the nineteenth-century schools for the deaf, with their denigration of sign language and their insistence on oralist teaching, shaped the lives of Deaf people for generations to come. They describe how Deaf culture and art thrived in mid-twentieth century Deaf clubs and Deaf theatre, and profile controversial contemporary technologies.
Most triumphant is the story of the survival of the rich and complex language American Sign Language, long misunderstood but finally recently recognized by a hearing world that could not conceive of language in a form other than speech. In a moving conclusion, the authors describe their own very different pathways into the Deaf community, and reveal the confidence and anxiety of the people of this tenuous community as it faces the future.
Inside Deaf Culture celebrates the experience of a minority culture—its common past, present debates, and promise for the future. From these pages emerge clear and bold voices, speaking out from inside this once silenced community.
The general stereotype regarding interaction between American Sign Language and English is a model of oversimplification: ASL signers are direct and English speakers are indirect. Jack Hoza’s study It’s Not What You Sign, It’s How You Sign It: Politeness in American Sign Language upends this common impression through an in-depth comparison of the communication styles between these two language communities. Hoza investigates relevant social variables in specific contexts and explores the particular linguistic strategies ASL signers and English speakers employ when they interact in these contexts.
It’s Not What You Sign, It’s How You Sign It is framed within politeness theory, an apt model to determine various interpretations of what speakers or signers mean in respect to the form of that which they say or sign. The variations reveal how linguistic and cultural differences intersect in ways that are often misinterpreted or overlooked in cross-cultural communication. To clarify these cross-linguistic differences, this volume explores two primary types of politeness and the linguistic strategies used by English speakers and ASL signers to express politeness concerns in face-to-face interaction. Hoza’s final analysis leads to a better understanding of the rich complexity of the linguistic choices of these language groups.
The ninth volume in the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities series focuses on forensic linguistics, a field created by noted linguist Roger Shuy, who begins the collection with an introduction of the issue of language problems experienced by minorities in legal settings. Attorney and linguist Rob Hoopes follows by showing how deaf people who use American Sign Language (ASL) are at a distinct disadvantage in legal situations, such as police interrogations, where only the feeblest of efforts are made to ensure that deaf suspects understand their constitutional rights.
Susan Mather, an associate professor of linguistics and interpretation, and Robert Mather, a federal disability rights attorney, examine the use of interpreters for deaf jurors during trials. They reveal the courts' gross misunderstandings of the important differences between ASL and Signed English. Sara S. Geer, an attorney at the National Association of the Deaf for 20 years, explains how the difficulty in understanding legal terminology in federal law is compounded for deaf people in every ordinary act, including applying for credit cards and filling out medical consent forms.
Language and the Law in Deaf Communities concludes with a chapter by George Castelle, Chief Public Defender in Charleston, West Virginia. Although he has no special knowledge about the legal problems of deaf people, Castelle offers another perspective based upon his extensive experience in practicing and teaching law.
Ceil Lucas is Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Linguistics and Interpretation at Gallaudet University.
ISBN 1-56368-143-9, 6 x 9 casebound, 200 pages, tables, references, index
"Stokoe's arguments are powerful and compelling, and deserve the widespread attention and respect they certainly will receive."
In Language in Hand: Why Sign Came Before Speech, William C. Stokoe begins his exploration of the origin of human language with a 2400-year-old quote by Democritus: "Everything existing in the universe is the fruit of chance and necessity." Stokoe capitalizes upon this simple credo in this far-ranging examination of the scholarly topography to support his formula for the development of language in humans: gesture-to-language-to-speech. Intrinsic to this is the proposition that speech is sufficient for language, but not necessary. Chance brought human ancestors down from the trees to the ground, freeing their hands for gesture, and then sign language, a progression that came from the necessity to communicate.
Stokoe recounts in Language in Hand how inspiration grew out of his original discovery in the 1950s and â€˜60s that deaf people who signed were using a true language with constructions that did not derive from spoken English. This erudite, highly engaging investigation calls upon decades of personal experience and published research to refute the recently entrenched principles that humans have a special, innate learning faculty for language and that speech equates with language. Integrating current findings in linguistics, semiotics, and anthropology, Stokoe fashions a closely-reasoned argument that suggests how our human ancestors' powers of observation and natural hand movements could have evolved into signed morphemes.
Stokoe also proposes how the primarily gestural expression of language with vocal support shifted to primarily vocal language with gestural accompaniment. When describing this transition, however, he never loses sight of the significance of humans in the natural world and the role of environmental stimuli in the development of language. Stokoe illustrates this contention with fascinating observations of small, contemporary ethnic groups such as the Assiniboin Nakotas, a Native American group from Montana that intermingle their spoken and signed languages depending upon cultural imperatives.
Language in Hand also presents innovative thoughts on classifiers in American Sign Language and their similarity to certain spoken languages, convincing evidence that speech originally copied sign language forms before developing unrelated conventions through usage. Stokoe concludes with a hypothesis on how the acceptance of sign language as the first language of humans could revolutionize the education of infants, both deaf and hearing, who, like early humans, have the full capacity for language without speech.
William C. Stokoe was Professor Emeritus at Gallaudet University and the founding editor of Sign Language Studies.
Reflecting the exponential growth of college courses offering American Sign Language (ASL) as a foreign language, high schools have followed suit with significant increases in ASL classes during the past two decades. Despite this trend, high school ASL teachers and program administrators possess no concrete information on why students take ASL for foreign language credit, how they learn new signs and grammar, and how different learning techniques determines their achievement in ASL. This new book addresses these issues to better prepare high schools in their recruitment and education of new ASL students.
Author Russell S. Rosen begins with the history of ASL as a foreign language in high schools, including debates about the foreign language status of ASL, the situation of deaf and hard of hearing students in classes, and governmental recognition of ASL as a language. Based on his study of five high school ASL programs, he defines the factors that motivate students, including community and culture, and analyzes strategies for promoting language processing and learning. Learning American Sign Language in High School provides strategies for teaching ASL as a second language to students with learning disabilities as well. Its thorough approach ensures the best opportunity for high school students to attain high levels of achievement in learning ASL.
As more and more secondary schools and colleges accept American Sign Language (ASL) as a legitimate choice for second language study, Learning to See has become even more vital in guiding instructors on the best ways to teach ASL as a second language. And now this groundbreaking book has been updated and revised to reflect the significant gains in recognition that deaf people and their native language, ASL, have achieved in recent years.
Learning to See lays solid groundwork for teaching and studying ASL by outlining the structure of this unique visual language. Myths and misconceptions about ASL are laid to rest at the same time that the fascinating, multifaceted elements of Deaf culture are described. Students will be able to study ASL and gain a thorough understanding of the cultural background, which will help them to grasp the language more easily. An explanation of the linguistic basis of ASL follows, leading into the specific, and above all, useful information on teaching techniques.
This practical manual systematically presents the steps necessary to design a curriculum for teaching ASL, including the special features necessary for training interpreters. The new Learning to See again takes its place at the forefront of texts on teaching ASL as a second language, and it will prove to be indispensable to educators and administrators in this special discipline.
Completely reorganized to reflect the growing intricacy of the study of ASL linguistics, the 5th edition presents 26 units in seven parts. Part One: Introduction presents a revision of Defining Language and an entirely new unit, Defining Linguistics. Part Two: Phonology has been completely updated with new terminology and examples. The third part, Morphology, features units on building new signs, deriving nouns from verbs, compounds, fingerspelling, and numeral incorporation. Part Four: Syntax includes units on basic sentence types, lexical categories, word order, time and aspect, verbs, and the function of space. The fifth part, Semantics, offers updates on the meanings of individual signs and sentences.
Part Six: Language in Use showcases an entirely new section on Black ASL in the unit on Variation and Historical Change. The units on bilingualism and language and ASL discourse have been thoroughly revised and updated, and the Language as Art unit has been enhanced with a new section on ASL in film. Two new readings update Part Seven, and all text illustrations have been replaced by video stills from the expanded DVD. Also, signs described only with written explanations in past editions now have both photographic samples in the text and full demonstrations in the DVD.
Only recently have linguists ceased to regard metaphors as mere frills on the periphery of language and begun to recognize them as cornerstones of discourse. Phyllis Wilcox takes this innovation one step further in her fascinating study of metaphors in American Sign Language.
Such an inquiry has long been obscured by, as Wilcox calls it, "the shroud of iconicity." ASL's iconic nature once discouraged people from recognizing it as a language; more recently it has served to confuse linguists examining its metaphors. Wilcox, however, presents methods for distinguishing between icon and metaphor, allowing the former to clarify, not cloud, the latter. "If the iconic influence that surrounds metaphor is set aside, the results will be greater understanding, and interpretations that are less opaque."
Wilcox concludes her study with a close analysis of the ASL poem, "The Dogs," by Ella Mae Lentz. In presenting Deaf Americans', Deaf Germans', and Deaf Italians' reactions to the poem, Wilcox manages not only to demonstrate the influence of culture upon metaphors, but also to illuminate the sources of sociopolitical division within the American Deaf community. Metaphor in American Sign Language proves an engrossing read for those interested in linguistics and Deaf culture alike.
Phyllis Perrin Wilcox is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Coordinator of the Signed Language Interpreting Program at the University of New Mexico, in Albuquerque, NM.
My First Book of Sign
Pamela J. Baker Gallaudet University Press, 1986 Library of Congress HV2476.B35 1986 | Dewey Decimal 419
My First Book of Sign, a full-color alphabet book, gives the signs for 150 of the words most frequently used by young children. The vocabulary comes from recognized word list sources such as the Dale List of 769 Easy Words. The proportion of word category choices (nouns, modifiers, and verbs) is based on early language acquisition research.
Readers do not have to know American Sign Language to enjoy My First Book of Sign; the book provides explanations of how to form each sign. This is a very special alphabet book appropriate for all children who are just beginning to read.
The term deaf often sparks heated debates about authority and authenticity. The concept of Deaf identity and affiliation with the DEAF-WORLD are constantly negotiated social constructions that rely heavily on the use of American Sign Language. However, given the incredible diversity of Deaf people, these constructions vary widely. From Deaf people born into culturally Deaf families and who have used ASL since birth, to those born into hearing families and for whom ASL is a secondary language (if they use it at all), to hearing children of Deaf adults whose first language is ASL, and beyond, the criteria for membership in the Deaf community is based on a variety of factors and perspectives.
Bryan K. Eldredge seeks to more precisely understand the relationship between ASL use and Deaf identity using the tools of linguistic anthropology. In this work, he presents research resulting from fieldwork with the Deaf community of Utah Valley. Through informal interactions and formal interviews, he explores the role of discourse in the projection and construction of Deaf identities and, conversely, considers how ideas about language affect the discourse that shapes identities. He finds that specific linguistic ideologies exist that valorize some forms of language over others and that certain forms of ASL serve to establish a culturally Deaf identity. My Mother Made Me Deaf demonstrates that the DEAF-WORLD consists of a multitude of experiences and ways of being even as it is bound together by certain essential elements that are common to Deaf people.
My Signing Book of Numbers
Patricia Bellan Gillen Gallaudet University Press, 1988 Library of Congress HV2476.G55 1988 | Dewey Decimal 419
This full-color picture book helps children learn their numbers in sign language. Each two-page spread of this delightfully illustrated book has the appropriate number of things or creatures for the numbers 0 through 20. The signs for the numbers 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100 are also included. Each sign/number appears in the corner of the page. Written explanations of how to form each sign are provided in the back of the book.
Experienced ASL instructor Leann Sebrey champions two-way sign communication between parents and their infants who are just months old as a way to bond more closely and reduce frustration, while also maximizing the children’s intelligence and emotional quotients.
Sebrey’s book The Parents’ Guide to Baby Signs: Early Communication with Your Infant lays out an easy, step-by-step process that will instill confidence in parents who have never signed before. She begins by explaining why ASL is best for all children, both deaf and hearing. Sebrey also recognizes the different ways young children learn, encouraging parents and caregivers to sign with infants at all times as a natural part of their interaction. She reveals the first indications of when a baby is ready to communicate, and includes a list of signs to provide parents with a good starting point. Sebrey discusses the moments when infants are most receptive to learn signs and outlines numerous practical techniques with plenty of helpful hints to speed the process. She describes the pleasure of seeing a baby’s first sign, and tells parents how to interpret baby signs, including what to do when a baby uses the wrong signs. Full of easy-to-grasp illustrations of child and family-oriented signs, The Parents’ Guide to Baby Signs is the best how-to book for parents, caregivers, and educators to teach early communication to infant.
The Fifth Volume in the Studies in Interpretation Series
In interpreting, professionals must be able to convey to their clients the rhythm, stress, and length of phrases used by the communicating parties to indicate their respective emotional states. Such subtleties, which can signal sarcasm and irony or whether a statement is a question or a command, are defined in linguistics as prosody. Brenda Nicodemus’s new volume, the fifth in the Studies in Interpretation series, discusses the prosodic features of spoken and signed languages, and reports the findings of her groundbreaking research on prosodic markers in ASL interpretation.
In her study, Nicodemus videotaped five highly skilled interpreters as they interpreted a spoken English lecture into ASL. Fifty Deaf individuals viewed the videotaped interpretations and indicated perceived boundaries in the interpreted discourse. These identified points were then examined for the presence of prosodic markers that might be responsible for the perception of a boundary. Prosodic Markers and Utterance Boundaries reports on the characteristics of the ASL markers, including their frequency, number, duration, and timing. Among other findings, the results show that interpreters produce an average of seven prosodic markers at each boundary point. The markers are produced both sequentially and simultaneously and under conditions of highly precise timing. Further, the results suggest that the type of prosodic markers used by interpreters are both systematic and stylistic.
This engrossing study investigates the infancy of American Sign Language (ASL). Authors Ted Supalla and Patricia Clark highlight the major events in ASL history, revealing much of what has not been clearly understood until now. According to tradition, ASL evolved from French Sign Language. The authors analyze the metalinguistic assumptions of these early accounts and also examine in depth a key set of films made by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) between 1910 and 1920. Designed by the NAD to preserve classic ASL, the films feature 15 sign masters, the model signers of that time. In viewing these films, the authors discovered that the sign masters signed differently depending on their age. These variations provide evidence about the word formation process of early ASL, further supported by data collected from dictionaries of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
By tracing the writings of selected individuals, this study reconstructs the historical context for early ASL grammar. It describes the language used in each century and how it changed, and focuses on the rediscovery of the literary legacy of the Deaf American voice. Sign Language Archaeology reveals the contrast between folk etymology and scientific etymology and allows readers to see ASL in terms of historical linguistics.
Here’s a great book for every young adult age 11 up, Signing Fun: American Sign Language Vocabulary, Phrases, Games, and Activities. Signing is visual, easy to learn, and fun to use. Author Penny Warner offers 441 useful signs on a variety of favorite topics: activities, animals, fashion, food, holidays, home, outdoors, parties, people, places, play, emotions, school, shopping, travel, plus extra fun signs for especially popular words. Each chapter includes practice sentences using everyday phrases to help new signers learn in a fun way.
Signing Fun provides dozens of entertaining games and activities, too, such as Alphabet Sign, Finger Fun Gesture Guess, Match Signs, Mime and Sign, Oppo-Sign, Picture Hand, Secret Sign, Sign-A-Gories, Signo Bingo, Snap and Sign, and Truth or Sign. It also features a list of tips on how to sign, including how to fingerspell, use numbers, and communicate with deaf people. Whimsical drawings clearly illustrate all of the signs, and a full index lists all of their English meanings for quick reference. Signing Fun is a terrific first book for learning sign while having a great time.
Laura Greene Gallaudet University Press, 1989 Library of Congress HV2476.G735 1990 | Dewey Decimal 419
Written for young adults, Sign-Me-Fine introduces American Sign Language (ASL) and emphasizes how its structure differs from English. Young readers will learn grammatically correct ASL sentences, sign games, and the full beauty of ASL in poetry and music.
Cochlear implants, mainstreaming, genetic engineering, and other ethical dilemmas confronting deaf people mandated a new, wide-ranging examination of these issues, fulfilled by Signs and Voices: Deaf Culture, Identity, Language, and Arts. This collection, carefully chosen from the 2004 Signs and Voices Conference, the Presidential Forum on American Sign Language at the Modern Language Association Convention, and other sources, addresses all of the factors now changing the cultural landscape for deaf people. To ensure quality and breadth of knowledge, editors Kristin A. Lingren, Doreen DeLuca, and Donna Jo Napoli selected the work of renowned scholars and performers Shannon Allen, H-Dirksen L. Bauman, Adrian Blue, Brenda Jo Brueggemann, Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Peter Cook, David P. Corina, Michael Davidson, Kristen Harmon, Tom Humphries, Sotaro Kita, Heather Knapp, Robert G. Lee, Irene W. Leigh, Kenny Lerner, Carole Neidle, Peter Novak, AslI Özyürek, David M. Perlmutter, Anne Senghas, and Ronnie Wilbur.
Signs and Voices is divided into three sections—Culture and Identity, Language and Literacy, and American Sign Language in the Arts—each of which focuses on a particular set of theoretical and practical concerns. Also, the included DVD presents many of the performances from the Arts section. Taken together, these essays and DVD point to new directions in a broad range of fields, including cognitive science, deaf studies, disability studies, education, linguistics, literary criticism, philosophy, and psychology. This extraordinary showcase of innovative and rigorous cross-disciplinary study will prove invaluable to everyone interested in the current state of the Deaf community.
Current academic discourse frequently understates the role of religion in the development of the American Deaf community. In her new study, Tracy Ann Morse effects a sharp course correction by delineating the frequent use over time of religious rhetoric by members of the Deaf community to preserve and support sign language.
In Chapter One, Morse analyzes Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet’s use of religious references in his 1817 maiden address at the first American school for deaf students. She examines his and other speeches as examples of the intersection of education for deaf Americans and Protestant missionary efforts to convert them. In the second chapter, she presents the different religious perspectives of the two deaf education camps: Manualists argued that sign language was a gift from God, while Oralists viewed hand gestures as animal-like, indicative of lower evolutionary development.
Chapter Three explores the religious rhetoric in churches, sanctuaries where sign language flourished and deaf members formed relationships. In the fourth chapter, Morse shows how Deaf activist George Veditz signed using religious themes in his political films. She also comments on the impact of the bilingual staging of Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which began to change the hearing world’s opinion about the Deaf community. Morse concludes with speculation on the shifting terrain for deaf people due to technological innovations that might supplant religious rhetoric as a tool to support the Deaf community.
Signs of the Times
Edgar H. Shroyer Gallaudet University Press, 2011 Library of Congress HV2475.S528 2010 | Dewey Decimal 419.70321
•Completely Revised with New Signs and Lessons
•Each Sign Illustration Features Sentences in English and ASL Order
•New Class Activities and New Student Activities for Homework or Quizzes
•New Facts about American Sign Language Grammar and Deaf Culture
Now, the bestselling American Sign Language textbook Signs of the Times has been completely revised and updated. The new, second edition is an excellent beginner’s American Sign Language textbook designed for use in the classroom or at home. Organized into 44 lessons, it presents more than 1,300 signs representing 3,500 English glosses. Each lesson contains clear illustrations of all signs, English equivalent words and synonyms, sample sentences to define vocabulary context, and practice sentences to display and reinforce ASL usage.
Signs of the Times is a complete text that includes new class activities for teachers, plus new student activities that can be done in class, as homework, or as quizzes. The new edition features the Contextual Sign/Word Appendix, which displays groups of sentences using the same English word to show different meanings along with the corresponding ASL signs. It also provides an expanded index, vocabulary lists, and a reading reference list. The new edition offers facts on ASL grammar and Deaf culture and includes mind ticklers that enliven the lessons with hints, tips, and mnemonic devices.
The new Signs of the Times expands the features that made it a standard, easy-to-use ASL textbook. Signs are repeated in sentences throughout the book to provide excellent practice for the students. The clear, easy-to-understand sign illustrations facilitates the learning process, enhancing students’ success while also making ASL fun.
From Language in Society, Cambridge University Press
Sociolinguistic Variation in American Sign Language is the successful result of applying sociolinguistic theory and methodology originally developed for spoken languages to American Sign Language (ASL). The product of several years of study conducted by a team of researchers, this book is more than just an exercise; both expected and unexpected findings are presented, thereby confirming and advancing the sociolinguistics of signed languages in particular and of language in general. Lucas and Valli bring to this work extensive experience with sign language linguistics; they are joined by Bayley, who is know for his work on Tejano English and Spanish variation among immigrants of Mexican descent. The statistical findings provide the necessary bridge between context and environment, on the one hand, and internal constraints, on the other, to explain the range of variation represented at phonological, syntactic, and lexical levels in ASL. Explicitly building on Weinrich, Labov & Herzog's notion of orderly heterogeneity (14, 193-94; cf. Weinrich, Labov & Herzog 1968), the book provides useful examples and analysis for sign language linguists, and it would do well as a source for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses where materials beyond a primer of sociolinguistics are needed. For those more established in the field, the authors respectfully (and graciously) challenge several frequently cited findings concerning variation in ASL, such as Woodward & DeSantis' (1977) claims about negative incorporation and Liddell & Johnson's (1989) explanations for phonological variation in forms of the sign deaf. They also demonstrate the usefulness of Liddell & Johnson's (1984, 1989) autosegmental movement-hold model for analyzing distinctive features of sign languages, especially when this is combined with statistical tools such as varbrul. Through such analysis, internal variation at phonological and grammatical levels is identified, and the influence external constraints such as region, age, ethnicity, and gender are also revealed.
The first three chapters set up the context and purpose of the research, beginning with a useful and straightforward chapter on sociolinguistic theory, its history in the studies of sign languages, and how such studies relate to those conducted on spoken languages. The second chapter presents the issues and approaches involved in collecting and analyzing an ASL corpus, though it serves well as a model for spoken language corpora, too. The discussion in this chapter of the variable rule analysis software varbrul (Pintzuk 1988; Rand & Sankoff 1990) and other statistical tools for analyzing sociolinguistic variation is helpful, particularly for those coming to sociolinguistics whose backgrounds have focused on qualitative descriptions and who might need to have issues of quantitative methodologies involving multiple contextual influences made more explicit. The third chapter presents a brief sociohistorical account of education and pedagogical philosophies involving sign language in the United States, including changing policies at residential schools for deaf students, and the training and subsequent placement of teachers and students in these schools.
The study draws from five sites throughout the United States, picked as regional representatives. Subjects vary in age, though all were exposed to sign language at early ages (prior to 5 or 6 years old) to control for any effects of late or second language acquisition. All are considered to have native or native-like fluency. Ethnicity was restricted to Caucasian and African American because of practical limitations, although many other ethnicities are obviously represented in Deaf communities. Socioeconomic status and gender were also tracked, especially because these have been seen to be traits associated with sociolinguistic theories of language change. One variable particular to ASL signers is the history of pedagogical policy with regard to the use and status of sign languages in deaf education. The 20th century saw significant swings in the acceptance and use of sign language and oralist (speech) methodologies.
The three phonological variables studied include signs produces with the "1" handshape, the order and location of elements of the sign deaf, and the locations of a class of signs that share common features (know being a typical example). The analysis reveals classic linguistic constraints on these variables (grammatical categories, phonological environments), and is shows that many of the manifestations of these constraints are explained in part through reference to sociohistorical factors of Deaf history and the social organization of Deaf communities. The authors suggest that the distribution of variations, when accounting for age, grammatical functions, social class, and ethnicity, indicates evidence of change in progress. Surprisingly, though, grammatical function plays a stronger role than anticipated, and the authors propose that this may be a direct reflection of the modality difference of signed languages (see chap. 6).
Of course, one of the trickiest aspects of linguistic analysis is the highly situated nature of discourse. The strength of the analysis done by these authors is that they weigh multiple factors to discern their relative influences on linguistic variation, and they produce quantitative findings that verify and challenge current explanations of patterns, some of which are based on qualitative studies. Yet even as they did so, these researchers encountered the perpetual problem that not all factors, whether internal or external (i.e., sociocultural), can be accounted for simultaneously, even where they are identified. Furthermore, they raise the epistemological problem that, when one is collecting a linguistic corpus and coding for various factors, the categories and terms used in coding (or even collecting) need to be already recognized in order to be explored. Thus, studies such as this one highlight the continuing need for a range of complementary approaches, including those that are psycholinguistic and anthropological, experimental and ethnographic. For example, the importance of the unique history of Deaf communities and the role of policy regarding the legitimacy of sign language hints at other issues that might be found only through more extended, naturalistic, inductive studies. Such studies would identify additional kinds of factors accommodated to through the ordered heterogeneity of language - factors that can then be tested quantitatively by projects such as that conducted by the authors of this volume.
It has been a pleasure to review a book so clear in purpose and successful in execution. This book demonstrates the advantages of carefully planned collaborative teamwork, drawing upon a vast range of expertise and experience, all the while modeling explicit methodology and theory for sociolinguistic analysis and exploration. The writing remains direct and accessible throughout, with technical terms and concepts supported by useful references, often summarized in ways that are helpful when introducing (or reintroducing) topics to readers not fully familiar them. It suggests interesting avenues for future research. For these reasons, I strongly recommend this book for graduate and upper-division courses in sociolinguistic variation, especially courses in which the study of sign languages is included. I also recommend it to anyone interested in sociolinguistic variation, or the interplay between linguistic theory and pedagogy.
-- Richard J. Senghas, Sonoma State University
Ceil Lucas is Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Linguistics and Interpretation at Gallaudet University.
Robert Bayley is Professor of Sociolinguistics in the Division of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio, TX.
Clayton Valli was Assistant Professor in the Masters Interpreting Program at Gallaudet University.
Mary Rose, Alyssa Wulf, Paul Dudis, Susan Schatz, and Laura Sanheim all were graduate students in the Department of ASL, Linguistics, and Interpretation at Gallaudet University.
In 1999, many of today's notable researchers assembled at a special conference in honor of William C. Stokoe to explore the remarkable research that grew out of his original insights on American Sign Language. The Study of Signed Languages presents the fascinating findings from that conference.
Part 1, Historical Perspectives, begins with a description of the decline of sign language studies in the 1800s. Past research on signed languages and its relationship to language origins theory follows, along with a consideration of modality and conflicting agendas for its study.
In Part 2, Language Origins, the first entry intrigues with the possibility that sign language could answer conundrums posed by Noam Chomsky's linguistic theories. The next essay considers how to build a better language model by citing continuity, ethology, and Stokoe's work as key elements. Stokoe's own research on the gestural theory of language origins is examined in the section's closing chapter.
Part 3, Diverse Populations, delineates the impact of sign language research on black deaf communities in America, on deaf education, on research into variation in sign language, and even on sign communication and the motor functioning of autistic children and others. In its wide-ranging, brilliant scholarship, The Study of Signed Languages serves as a fitting tribute to William C. Stokoe and his work.
Royalties from this title will be contributed to the William C. Stokoe Chair of Ethnographic Studies in Deaf Language and Culture fund at Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C.
David F. Armstrong is an anthropologist and Professor of Administration at Gallaudet University.
Michael A. Karchmer is Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Research and Director of the Gallaudet Research Institute at Gallaudet University.
John Vickrey Van Cleve is Professor of History at Gallaudet University.
This introductory text celebrates another dimension of diversity in the United States Deaf community — variation in the way American Sign Language (ASL) is used by Deaf people all across the nation. The different ways people have of saying or signing the same thing defines variation in language. In spoken English, some people say “soda,” others say “pop,” “Coke,” or “soft drink;” in ASL, there are many signs for “birthday,” “Halloween,” “early,” and of course, “pizza.”
What’s Your Sign for Pizza? derives from an extensive seven-year research project in which more than 200 Deaf ASL users representing different ages, genders, and ethnic groups from seven different regions were filmed sharing their signs for everyday vocabulary. The film clips form a supplemental resource to the text and are referenced in their relevant chapters. The text begins with an explanation of the basic concepts of language and the structure of sign language. Each part of the text concludes with questions for discussion, and the final section offers three supplemental readings that provide further information on variation in both spoken and signed languages. What’s Your Sign for Pizza also briefly sketches the development of ASL, which explains the relationships between language varieties throughout the country.
Here’s a fun, interactive way to teach youngsters ages 1- 4 basic American Sign Language signs. Where Is Baby? A Lift-the-Flap Sign Language Book features 12 basic questions in ASL with English translations. Little ones can find the answer for each question by lifting the flap on the opposite page to reveal a charming, full-color illustration. The questions and answers engage children with everyday subjects of high interest to them: Where is the airplane, train, bug, cat, elephant, shoe, pizza, Mama, Daddy, sister, and of course, Baby.
By introducing young children to sign language, Where Is Baby? can help them strengthen their vocabulary, grammar, and other language skills while also allowing them to communicate their needs and feelings at an earlier age. This sturdy book offers an enjoyable, instructive way for parents, teachers, and other caregivers to begin reading and signing together with children at a wonderful age for learning.