forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Don & Theresa G
Date:  Tue Feb 23, 1999  5:08 pm
Subject:  Re: topics

-----Original Message-----

>[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.

Actually, we wouldn't sign "grass eat cat" in ASL, unless this was some form
of mutant carnivorous vegetation! What we would say is: (topic marker)
Grass (neutral position) cat eat.

--Donald Grushkin
>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.
>Joe Martin
>Plain Old Ordinary Student
>Top Left Corner, USA

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