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From:  "Angus B. Grieve-Smith"
Date:  Sun Jul 2, 2000  10:11 pm
Subject:  Re: standardized spellings

On Wed, 28 Jun 2000, Nancy Cole wrote:

> I have a difficult time explaining to my students that signs are
> different all over. Ummm I'm not even sure how to put this
> question....but we were wondering is...if we are using the SW lessons,
> and one of the signs shows different than how we use it here in NM,
> should we rewrite the sign?

I know that this is true in New Mexico; as you can see from the
attached file, there is a sign that the rest of the ASL-signing world uses
to mean "luck" or "lucky." But in New Mexico, that sign means "chile
peppers"; it's a reduction of a phrase meaning "tastes hot." So New
Mexicans use another sign for "lucky."

This happens in all languages; I remember reading books from
England when I was a kid, and trying to figure out what "dustbins" and
"crisps" were. But no one crossed out those words and wrote in "garbage
cans" and "chips." They just explained that people talked differently

I'd suggest you do something similar, Nancy. If your students
come to a sign that you know is different, just explain that Darline is
from someplace else (Where, exactly, Valerie?), and write the New Mexico
equivalent on the board. And maybe assign exercises where the kids write
sentences in ASL using their own signs.

How does this sound to some of the teachers on the list, as a way
of teaching about language variation?

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

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  Replies Author Date
3734 SignWriting Databases Valerie Sutton Mon  7/3/2000
3735 Re: standardized spellings Valerie Sutton Mon  7/3/2000
3737 Re: standardized spellings Angus B. Grieve-Smith Mon  7/3/2000

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