|SignWriting List Forum|
Valerie Sutton |
Date: Sun May 9, 1999 12:43 am
Subject: Re: Inflection
Joe Martin wrote:
>Here's a discussion of some basic ASL grammar that I stole from another
>list. The next obvious question is, how do you write these two in
>>Could you help further? How does 'durative' differ semantically from
Hi Joe -
Thanks for this post and I too saw the discussion on the Sign Language
Linguist's List, SLLING. The questions refer to "verb inflections", or what
some call "verb modulations" - different aspects to verbs and how they
Verbs in ASL are definitely unique. And we have written them for years in
SignWriting in great detail. I even worked with the Danes on a comparison
of verbs in Danish Sign Language and American Sign Language, all written in
SignWriting. Not too different by the way - similar movements, although
they were applied differently.
I would have to see someone sign those verbs that are called "durative" and
"continuative". If I had them on a video, I could then transcribe them and
we could discuss it.
Meanwhile, if you all are interested in seeing some verb inflections
written in SignWriting, and if you have the SignWriter computer program or
the shareware....open the ASL dictionary in SignWriter and type the word
"help" and press return. Then page down, and you will see approximately 30
verb modulations for the verb "to help". We not only have all the "You help
her". "You help them" etc....but we also have "you help regularly", "you
help continuously" and "you help over a long period of time" and we also
include getting "help from an authority figure"...and lots of variations.
If you own the Sutton's ASL Dictionary notebook, just look up the sign
"help" and there are the verb modulations.
Our DAC members, with the help of linguist Karen van Hoek, wrote more verbs
like that and I have them written on little pieces of paper in my office!
Someday I better get them on the web :-)
Anyway - thanks for the post, Joe, and maybe you can tell me...is there a
video of verb modulations I could transcribe?
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