Date: Thu May 14, 1998 6:38
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: Re: Language History or Standardization of ASL
In a message dated 98-05-14 11:21:35 EDT, you write:
> and in another message - in a day or so - I will discuss what is happening
> with the standardization of "sign spellings".
I'm not sure you can apply the same idea to signwriting because you are
describing motion and there are different signs for similar concepts in ASL.
So you may standardize an individual sign, but I don't think you can
standardize what people sign for a given concept.
And as for regional differences, there is also a matter of what vocabulary is
needed in a region. There is a big difference, for example, between the things
a city person will want to talk about vs. someone who lives on a farm, and
there needs to be signs for those things. There are also special interests,
hobbies, and professions within which particular vocabulary will develop.
Sometimes the same sign may mean something a bit different depending on the
context. This happens in many (and probably all) languages.
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