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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Tue Oct 5, 1999  3:09 pm
Subject:  Re: Questions & Answers

>> Signed languages are as old as history. They are not new languages
>> recently invented. Like spoken languages, they developed naturally.
> I'm not sure I agree with this, Valerie. Remember that Judy and
>James Shepherd-Kegl have seen a new sign language, Nicaraguan Sign
>Language, come into existence. My understanding is that it wasn't
>actually invented, but still came into existence as a result of Sandinista
>educational policy.
> Some languages are clearly much older, but I would guess that
>there's a certain critical mass of Deaf people necessary for a signed
>language to be born.
> I like the rest of your answers, though.
> Angus B. Grieve-Smith


Hi Angus -
Thanks for your review. Glad you like some of my answers - that means a
lot :-)

Of course you are correct about Nicaraguan Sign Language being a young
naturally-evolving language. And I am sure there are some young spoken
languages too.

But there are also some older signed languages too. A lot of hearing people
do not realize that signed languages existed back in history, before school
systems, and without hearing people intervening.

Actually I was trying to explain that naturally-evolved languages are not
"invented"....obviously it is not written well.

So how would you suggest that I re-word that paragraph?



Valerie Sutton

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Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
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