forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  James Womack
Date:  Fri Mar 17, 2000  10:01 am
Subject:  Re: SignWriting as a gateway?


Ronald Zapien wrote:
>
> I can't resist, so I won't. What about LOAN signs. They are, to my
knowledge,
> considered signs, however they are truely elegant fingerspellings of English
words
> at the same time. They are "borrowings" from English, slightly mutated much
in
> the same way that English has borrowed words like: chop suey, bagel, tacos
(and a
> lot of other non-food items as well *grin*) Sorry--you get the picture.)
>
> Are LOAN signs a form of signed English or no??? Cheryl
All languages borrow from each other (hearies ar even using ASL
fused into their speech (quote sign, ILY sign, not (among groups
of
hearing NV high schoolers) etc).

The issue was not whether or not something was signed English,
but whether signed English was English; which it is not. English
is a spoken
language, not a fingerspelled language. And borrowed signs are
not signs. They are
fingerspelling treated as if they were signs.
It like in English where nouns may be used as adjectives but the
words remain nouns all the same.

As I said before, humans manipulate language in such ways that
you cannot say this rule shall stand irrevocable. we are too
dynamic in ourlanguage use to allow that. Thus the existence of
peotic license, inneudo, wittisms, limericks, puns, spoonerisms,
and etc.

I fear you got the issue garbled. I never claimed that ASL
doesn't borrow from English (that'd be too stupid even for me).
I said signed English was not English.
Nor is SW ASL nor English. It's is a graphical representation of
sign language just as the English alphabet is a graphical
representation of English. But neither are the
language itself. Final proof? All languages pre-date their
written form. If you insist that the graphical representation
IS the language, you're claiming the language was not
a language until it developed a written form. Question then, what
the heck was it and how did people go about understanding each
other with it?

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http://www.education.eku.edu/Sed/faculty/womack/default.htm

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