forum SignWriting List Forum
  Message 3737  |  Previous | Next  [ Up Thread ] Message Index
From:  "Angus B. Grieve-Smith"
Date:  Mon Jul 3, 2000  11:24 am
Subject:  Re: standardized spellings

On Sun, 2 Jul 2000, Valerie Sutton wrote:

> Darline Clark-Gunsauls, the ASL storyteller on the video, is
> originally from Fulton School for the Deaf in Missouri, but has since
> graduated from Gallaudet and now lives in California! So it is hard to
> know how "regional" her signing style is.

That's true, but it would still reflect either Fulton School, or
Gallaudet, or Southern California, and not New Mexico.

> And just as we all understand others who speak or sign other dialects,
> oftentimes people start accepting those differences in the SignWriting
> too...

I hope so. But it's not always easy to understand other dialects.
For example, I have had some difficulty understanding other varieties of
English, particularly in areas where there is a lot of segregation. I'm
white, and grew up having contact with the Black English spoken in New
York City. When I lived in Chicago for a year, I could understand Black
English speakers there, but only when they were talking directly to me.
When they spoke to each other (which is when they were really speaking
Chicago Black English) I could only catch a few words. I'm sure that this
is true for signed languages when the social circumstances are similar.

> What are you doing in New York City, Angus? (is that where you are?
> ;-))

Well, my girlfriend, who is also a linguist, just got a
tenure-track job at Bronx Community College. I've just gotten a corporate
job offer here, and hopefully will be working by the end of the week,
while continuing to work on my PhD nights and weekends.

I'm hoping to get back in touch with the Deaf community here,
probably through the NY Society for the Deaf. I read in yesterday's New
York Times that the principal of the main School for the Deaf in Manhattan
tried to fire 35 teachers for not being fluent in ASL. Because of tenure,
he was only able to fire ten of them.

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

  Message 3737  |  Previous | Next  [ Up Thread ] Message Index