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From:  "Angus B. Grieve-Smith"
Date:  Sun Jul 2, 2000  1:04 am
Subject:  Re: native speakers

On Sat, 1 Jul 2000, Joe Martin wrote:

> Angus is definitely correct, she won't be a good model is she has no
> contact with the DGS-signing community. Actually it is not likely that
> her parents use Russian Sign Language; most people in Kazakstan speak
> unrelated (Altaic) languages. But the third most comman language
> spoken there is German.

As you know, spoken language generally has little to do with
signed language. The real determinant is who influenced the founders of
the Deaf school where Irina's parents learned to sign. Since Kazakhstan
was taken over by Russia in the 19th century, it seems likely to me that
they speak either a dialect of Russian Sign Language, or a language that's
related to Russian Sign Language the way that ASL is related to LSF.

-Angus B. Grieve-Smith
Linguistics Department
University of New Mexico

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