SignWriting List Forum
Date: Sat Mar 16, 2002 12:56
"Angus B. Grieve-Smith"
Subject: Names for sign languages
The real problem with sign language names is based on two
1) Most languages (signed and spoken) refer to the local sign language
with a term that just means "sign language." In order to contrast
different sign languages, people add a modifier, specifying the country,
region or ethnicity associated with it.
2) People have a hard time with long names (over three words) for sign
languages. So they try to shorten them. The most common way to shorten
an expression in English is with initials.
Names like "Auslan" and "Libras" use "blending" instead of
initials to shorten long names. I'm wondering what strategies are used in
languages outside of Western Europe. Dan and Mohamed, you know more about
the Arabic traditions than I do. And what about East and South Asia?
-Angus B. Grieve-Smith
University of New Mexico