|SignWriting List Forum|
Joe Martin |
Date: Tue Feb 23, 1999 4:24 am
To clarify (?) Valerie's point below...
It is my understanding that the topic marker is not used in all sentences
in ASL, only in those which use the grammatical process known as
"topicalization" this is a fancy word for putting the topic at the
beginning of the sentence; ordinarily it would come after the verb, as in
[the cat eats grass] We can sign it like that, word for word, in ASL, but
more often than not we topicalize it--move the grass to the front-- so it
comes out [grass eats the cat.] That's no good in English, and it's also
no good in ASL unless you include a topicalization marker, which is raised
eyebrows. The raised eyebrows signals why the grass is in front of the
cat--it's the topic. So if the object/topic is put first, the sentence
starts with raised eyebrows, and if the topic is last (after the verb),
then it doesn't have raised eyebrows.
On February 17, 1999, Valerie Sutton wrote;
>In ASL, we have found that most sentences begin with the eyebrows up - in
>other words - the sentences begin with a "topic marker", which means the
>eyebrows are raised.
Plain Old Ordinary Student
Top Left Corner, USA