Date: Thu May 20, 1999 8:21
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: Re: Answers for Valarie and Wayne
Kudos to Joe Martin!
I have always wondered why ASL doesn't have a more extended vocabulary
instead of relying on fingerspelling for specific referents.
Fingerspelling is great for names and such, but when it comes to a more
variety of words/signs that many other advanced languages have, ASL does
seem to come a little short and only can rely on fingerspelling (which
is often to borrow words from a spoken language) or elaborating on with
our more limited sign vocabulary.
One thing about a written form of signed language would be that it will
allow the vocabulary to be extended beyond our regular capacity to
memorize all the signs. This is why we have dictionaries to look up
words that we don't know, forget the meaning or how it "spells".
This is NOT an attempt to say that ASL is incomplete. That is far from
what I am trying to point out. Any language can grow so ASL can as