American Sign Language---query

Rachel Shuttlesworth rshuttle at BAMA.UA.EDU
Wed Apr 13 15:00:48 UTC 2005

For a good introductory description of ASL and its history, as well as
signed languages in other parts of the world, check out Chapter 12
American Sign Language by Lucas and Valli in Finegan and Rickford's
"Language in the USA: Themes for the 21st Century." As a complete newbie
to the topic, I found it to be useful.

James Smith wrote:

> This discussion revives a question I've had for a
> number of years.  Why is it called American Sign
> Language - why is it tied to American culture and
> language?  It seems to me a true sign language would
> transcend cultural boundaries and be independent of
> spoken or written language.  Can ASL be used to
> communicate in other lands, even other English
> speaking lands, or does each country or culture "X"
> have its own "X"SL?
> James D. SMITH                 |If history teaches anything
> South SLC, UT                  |it is that we will be sued
> jsmithjamessmith at     |whether we act quickly and decisively
>                                |or slowly and cautiously.
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Dr. Rachel E. Shuttlesworth
CLIR Post-Doctoral Fellow
University of Alabama Libraries
Box 870266, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0266
Office: 205.348.4655/ Fax:205.348.8833
rachel.e.shuttlesworth at

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