Date: Wed Oct 6, 1999 4:05
SignWriting List Forum
On Tuesday 5 Oct, Angus B. Grieve-Smith wrote;
>> 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.
I'm sure I agree with it. Sandinista educational policy (which
was originally oral) merely resulted in the people being brought together
into communities; once in the communities an ineveitable sociolinguistic
process began and resulted in the genesis of the
language. While their being brought together is a neccesary precondition,
it could be caused by any number of things--as witness Martha's
Vineyard or the villages in Bali and Yucatan where signed languages have
arisen without official sanction or even knowledge.
In the US, signing was forbidden and actively suppressed for generations,
yet the the same language creation process took place In Spite Of a
well-enforced, longlasting policy of active repression. US educational
policy did bring deaf people together, though, so by your reasoning
we would have to credit US educational policy for the creation of ASL.
I don't think you'll get any takers on that position! ;-)
Joe Martin, Plain Old Ordinary Student
Top Left Corner USA
|| Re: Sandinistas
|| Angus B. Grieve-Smith