American Sign Language---query

FRITZ JUENGLING juengling_fritz at SALKEIZ.K12.OR.US
Tue Apr 12 22:56:24 UTC 2005

ASL should not be confused with Signed English, which is, more or less, using signs to communicate English.  ASL is its own language, with its own syntax.  It is not English.  I sent this query to our ASL teacher and she might be able to provide a detailed response or suggest several scholarly articles to help you make an informed recommendation.
Fritz J

>>> wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM 04/12/05 03:40PM >>>
Recent opinion has been strong that ASL is indeed a natural language, but I believe that claim has now been challenged, at least to some extent.


"Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at UMR.EDU> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Cohen, Gerald Leonard"
Subject: American Sign Language---query

First, thanx for the responses on XX; very helpful. Here's another issue that just came up today: Is American Sign Language (ASL) really a "complete and natural language" as, e.g. the U of Minnesota says, or is it merely the signing skills (however valuable) with which to communicate a natural language?
My campus' administration has turned to the Foreign Language section for insight on this matter, and I know virtually nothing about sign language.
I assume ASL is *not* a natural language but am open to persuasion on this point.
This all has to do with whether my campus should offer foreign-language credit for ASL, or perhaps something else like free-elective credit
Any thoughts on this would be very welcome.

Gerald Cohen
University of Missouri-Rolla

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