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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Fri Mar 3, 2000  6:24 pm
Subject:  Signing in Black Deaf Communities


On 3/2/00, INGRID FOGGITT wrote:
>The E-Directory is amazing and extremely helpful! Many thanks. I
>am amazing at the similarities between white SA signs and ASL --
>remember the black Deaf communties use completely different signs --
>a result of South Africa's past and a very evident reality. We have
>at least 11 different Sign Languages here!

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SignWriting List
March 3, 2000

Ingrid - Your messages are a joy and I will be responding to your
other message shortly...but in regards to your point above...actually
we have different dialects of American Sign Language too and I am
told that in the southern part of the USA, there are different
dialects of signing in the African-American communities...

The fact that "white" signing is different than "black" signing I
guess does make sense, since people tend to huddle together in groups!

One of my Deaf co-workers, who is native to ASL and white...showed me
some of the signs that she had learned from the South and I must say
- they are wonderful energetic signs and very very different - like
the signs for FIREMAN and BIRTHDAY are completely different...I would
love to record some of those dialects in SignWriting...

And you can record all 11 different South African signed languages too!

I am sure others on our SW List will have information for us, about
the different dialects in different communities.

I understand from Hope Hurlbut, who is using SignWriting to record
several signed languages in Malaysia...that some areas in Malaysia
use a form of ASL because of influence from Gallaudet
University...but others have totally different signed languages. So
it may be that the white people in South Africa have visited
Gallaudet? Just a thought...

I have been watching the incredible rescues during the floods in
Mozambique on TV...and I thought of you...I am aware that is North of
you, but I hope your area is not effected?.....

Please tell your students they are in our thoughts!


Val ;-)

------------------------------------

Valerie Sutton


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