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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Sun Aug 8, 1999  2:02 pm
Subject:  Re: proper names

>Maybe I've missed the point? Maybe the point is that in sign one can either
>say a name in sign itself or finger spell the acronym of the name in
>another language? Does the name for American Sign Language differ when
>Signed (i.e., does it not contain the sign for "American" and the sign for
>"sign language")?
>An interesting note. We call French "French" and not "Français". Nobody
>worries about that.... One of the languages of northern Europe we used to
>call "Lappish" but they feel that name (at least the Norwegian version
>"lappisk") to be pejorative so they prefer us to call it "Sámi". In doing
>so we show them respect for how they wish to be called.
>Sorry for the ramble.....
>Michael Everson


Actually what happened is that the thread on "acronyms" changed to "proper
names", which brought up the issue of whether spoken languages influence
the names of signed languages, both in other spoken languages, and also in
the signed languages themselves....which is more of a linguistic issue, and
the issue of Deaf rights.

Since SignWriting simply records the way signers sign, it is totally
neutral on this issue. Whatever signers write is up to them.

But in regards to your comment above, Michael...just as spoken languages
have both "full names of languages" and "acronyms for languages", signed
languages have both too...sometimes people sign the full name: "American
Sign Language", and other times they fingerspell the acronym: "ASL". And
oftentimes frequently fingerspelled acronyms become a "sign in its own
right"..."ASL" is one of those, since it is used so often...

And just as the people who speak Sámi requested respect for their language
by establishing its official name, Deaf people would like to have respect
for their languages too...and names of languages are a way to express that
respect :-)

Valerie :-)


Valerie Sutton

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