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From:  William MacGruder
Date:  Tue Feb 23, 1999  4:29 am
Subject:  Re: topics

In a message dated 2/22/99 8:26:56 PM Pacific Standard Time,

<< Subject: topics

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.

After reading the above, the following just popped into mind:

Perhaps the best thing then would be to write the Signs and then next
to the
Sign which is the Topic of the sentence or phrase, just write or draw two tiny

I know it's corny, but it could work.

-William J. "Chip" McGruder
Monterey, California

  Replies Author Date
1095 Re: topics Valerie Sutton Tue  2/23/1999

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