CD Series 2002 - meaning of ASL phrase

Charles Butler chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Jul 29 14:19:55 UTC 2003

Valerie, this is one of the best discussions of "contextual" grammar in ASL that I have ever seen.  It gives a context for ASL in terms of how it uses location as a pronoun and would be worth using as an example in any discussion.

The next time I do a presentation, I would like to use it as an example of "grammar".  Who knows if Deaf Way comes again, I may want to show this as an excellent example of context.


Valerie Sutton <sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG> wrote:
SignWriting List
July 29, 2003

Stefan Woehrmann wrote:
> Can you please post the translation ?

This signing is by Kevin Clark, a native ASL signer. He did not write
the SignWriting...I wrote it watching Kevin signing...It comes from a
longer this is only a portion of a sentence in ASL...and
it is "very ASL"...with a totally different grammar than English...

Kevin was signing about the "Deaf Authors' Series"...apparently just
saying "Deaf Author's Series" in ASL is complex, because they have to
establish a group of people in space, namely the Deaf in this case, and
then they relate to that group, pointing to it in space when
necessary...So without the rest of the sentence, this will always seem
a little meaningless...and I cannot find the rest of the sentence at
this moment...Please do not ask me to find it right now... ;-)

This portion of a sentence was placed on the CD as decoration. So I was
not trying to say anything...I just wanted a sample of SignWriting for
the CD decoration...

Here is what these signs mean:

1. "Really" or "truly"....
2. "They possess" or, "it is their own" (notice the tension symbol
which shows possession...the movement is directed towards the group of
Deaf people that is established to the right-diagonal in space, and the
eyegaze establishes the location of the group too...
3. Deaf (he is still looking with eyegaze at the group)
4. "writing" but notice that he is writing over to the left, because
earlier in the sentence he had established that the "writing in ASL"
was over to the left...
5. "a group of articles that have been written"...he is now circling
the area of writing, to show that he is talking about a body of
literature...a group of articles written by Deaf people

Beautiful signing by Kevin! Val ;-)

> ATTACHMENT part 2 image/gif x-unix-mode=0644; name=SW CDs ASL phrase.gif

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