|SignWriting List Forum|
Cecelia Smith |
Date: Wed Nov 4, 1998 8:43 pm
Subject: Re: A general ASL question
In a message dated 11/4/98 2:14:26 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> I hadn't really realized how many words have different signs until now!
> For example, there are two ways to sign the word "who"
> (maybe more, who knows!), two ways to sign the word doctor,
> home, deaf, sister etc.
Just thought I'd throw in a minor reminder... all languages have synonyms..
words that are produced differntly but have the same meaning. That is what
you are encountering here... synonyms. For example feline and cat are
synonyms. So are dog, canine and hound.
I guess I'm just being nit-picky. There are not, in my opinion, two ways to
sign the word Doctor -- because we are not signing words. However there are
two (or more) signs that have the same meaning as the word doctor.
This is like saying the word "gato" is the word "cat"
it isn't. "gato" is a word in Spanish that carries the same meaning as the
word "cat" in English or the sign (insert a SW symbol here please) in ASL.
It is only a minor point, I know. But I've felt for a long time that because
we tend to say the sign for that word... or how do you sign this word...
we end up projecting the concept that signed languages are just a spoken
language represented on the hands. We all know that is not true. <smile>
As for the problem of how to teach it... When a child learns a new word, for
example runs into "canine" for the first time.. how do you explain it? You
wait till they hit it, and expand their vocabulary. I think this is a
similar type of thing.
Also it is a good way to teach regional dialects. My grandmother (from the
back hills of Alabama) used to say "I'm so proud to see you" In her
dialect that was the equivelent of saying "I'm so happy to see you"
For her (and most of my relatives in that area) the words proud and happy
Have a good day