American Sign Language---query

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Apr 13 03:24:08 UTC 2005

At 3:40 PM -0700 4/12/05, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>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.

By whom, if I may ask?


>"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
>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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