Date: Tue Mar 14, 2000 12:37
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: Re: SignWriting as a gateway?
What exam did you flunk? :-)
Joe Martin wrote:
> 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)