Date: Mon Mar 13, 2000 11:57
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: Re: SignWriting as a gateway?
Dear, Dear, Cecelia; I have just flunked a final exam here, so I'm
cranky. But I will try to explain this, using very simple words,
that even your teeny-weeny little brain can understand. :-)
What I keep saying is this: "Signwriting can be English."
Now, read (very slowly) and try to understand:
1. SW can write anything that is signed.
2. The English language can be represented by signs.
3. SW can write this "signed English."
Now, You say that "Signed English is not English."
This statement is, to put it as politely as I can, STUPID!
You are using the phrase "signed English" to refer to the many
varieties of "contact signing." Most people, also inaccurately, refer to
it as "Pidgin Sign English," or similar terms. As you stated, it is not a
language. Technically not even a Pidgin. You gave us two examples, which
a) MY FATHER NAME JOE
b) FATHER MY NAME JOE
As you stated, neither of these is a Language. Neither of these is ASL.
Neither of these is English. Obviously then, if I signed them, I would
not be signing English. My production would not be signed English.
You also gave us an English sentence, namely:
c) My father's name is Joe.
This sentence can be signed. It cannot be signed using ASL, for a number
of reasons. One is that the copula /is/ does not exist in ASL; Another is
that the plural suffix <'s> likewise does not exist in ASL. In order to
sign this English sentence, we have to create two new signs for these
items. This has been done, and these signs are pretty well-known. By
signing these words in the given order, inserting the made-up signs in the
appropriate slots, we can sign this English sentence. We will have a
signed, English, sentence. This signed, English, sentence can be written
in SW. We will then have written a signed, English sentence in SW. Ergo,
my point, which was that SW can be English.
Joe Martin, Plain Old Ordinary Student
Top Left Corner USA
PS. If I wanted to be
politically correct I could use one of those gag-inducing acronyms like
SEE, or LOVE, but you know me better than that. Whatever fuzzy-minded,
Gallaudet-indoctrinated labels you give it, when I sign English I call it
signed English. The rest is Pidgin; and the fact that Gallaudet's official
mission statement deems it to be ASL is just pathetic and STUPID.
So! (Don't get me all riled up)