AW: [sw-l] question for the way to express 'made'

Stefan Wöhrmann stefanwoehrmann at GEBAERDENSCHRIFT.DE
Sun Jan 10 11:03:29 UTC 2010


Hi Sandy, Cherie, Charles -- 
Would be a great chance to add written ASL phrases in SignWriting to
explain, demonstrate this interesting question about "tenses" in Sign
Language ... 

This would make a difference to the discussions on the teach ASL list where
SignWriting is almost not existent - smile - 

We can proof the benefits of adding examples in real Sign Language
transcriptions. 

What do you think ---- 

Stefan ;-)

-----Urspr√ľngliche Nachricht-----
Von: sw-l-bounces at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
[mailto:sw-l-bounces at majordomo.valenciacc.edu] Im Auftrag von Sandy Fleming
Gesendet: Sonntag, 10. Januar 2010 10:51
An: SignWriting List
Betreff: Re: [sw-l] question for the way to express 'made'

Cherie,

It's really just a matter of terminology.

All full human languages have to have a way of expressing _time_, it's
really only if it's grammatically marked (eg by inflections or
mutations) that we call it a "tense".

Tense just means past, present and future markings. Things that you
often see, even in grammar books, described as tenses (such as
perfective conditional, subjunctive and so on) are actually other things
that can apply to verbs (aspect, mood and manner). But since the system
of inflections in a language often use similar methods to inflect the
verbs for aspect, mood etc as well as tense, they're often just referred
to as tenses.

In English we can express past, present and future times:

It was.
It is.
It will be.

but as you see above, there are only two tenses in English: past and
present. The future is marked with words such as "will", "shall",
"intend to", or even just with the present tense and a time-word ("I'm
leaving tomorrow").

French, on the other hand, has all three tenses, and there are a few
languages that have five tenses:

Distant past
Past
Present
Future
Distant future.

"Aspect" is another feature of verbs, saying how the action develops in
time, for example, "perfective aspect" (often called the "perfect
tense") means the action is completed, and similarly you can have
aspects to say that the action was interrupted, or went on for a very
long time and suchlike. These can sometimes imply tense (which is one
justification for just calling them "tenses"), for example, if an action
is completed then it tends to be in the past, although there's no reason
why you shouldn't be able to talk about actions being completed in the
future.

In some languages, aspect is more important than tense: this is true in
Russian, for example. In some languages there is no tense: this is true
of Mandarin and other Chinese dialects and BSL, for example.

BSL _does_ have grammatically-marked aspect, for example, a sign made
with repetition and stress takes place over a very long time, a sign
which is suddenly frozen indicates that the action was interrupted and
so on.

Sandy Fleming


On Sat, 2010-01-09 at 15:56 -0800, Cherie Wren wrote:
> Sorry I am an interpreter, not a linguist.  I have to constantly
> defend against people who say ASL isn't a real language because it
> doesn't have______;  when ASL just handles that particular ___
> differently than English.  Or "ASL doesn't have a word for ___"
> etc.  In Linguist-Speak, maybe ASL and BSL don't "have tense" but what
> I mean is ASL does differentiate between past, present and future, it
> just does not mark each individual verb in the entire discourse like
> English does.  I don't know the formal linguist definition for tense,
> or requirements for 'having' tense, but ASL does manage to convey
> past, present, future, '-ing', '-ed' etc.
> 
> cherie
> 
> ______________________________________________________________________
> From: Trevor Jenkins <bslwannabe at gmail.com>
> To: SignWriting List <sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu>
> Sent: Sat, January 9, 2010 3:10:18 PM
> Subject: Re: [sw-l] question for the way to express 'made'
> 
> Um, according to Sutton-Spence and Woll in their "Linguistics of BSL"
> the language does *not* have tense. In the same way that Chinese does
> not have tense. There are time-markers to denote a change of time but
> that is not the same as grammatical tense where the verb-lexeme is
> altered for moment of occurence. Now as someone performing
> sign-to-voice i would use the time-markers amongst the signs and then
> change the spoken verbs according; or with voice-to-sign I would hear
> the spoken verbs and insert a time marker. Notice that each spoken
> verb has to be changed but only one signed time-marker is required.
> 
> On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 5:36 PM, Cherie Wren <cwterp at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > So, based on what you say, BSL expresses tense the same way as ASL.
> It DOES
> > have tense, it just doesn't add it to every verb, like English does.
> >
> > Cherie
> >
> > ________________________________
> > From: Sandy Fleming <sandy at fleimin.demon.co.uk>
> > To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> > Sent: Fri, January 8, 2010 7:18:18 AM
> > Subject: Re: [sw-l] question for the way to express 'made'
> >
> > Cherie,
> >
> > As I mentioned, BSL doesn't have tense. In telling a story, you
> simply
> > state a time (eg LAST-WEEK or IN-THE-PAST or TOMORROW), then that
> time
> > applies to everything you sign until you state new time.
> >
> > BSL does have a lot of aspect, though, ie how an action is carried
> out.
> > For example, completed, protracted, interrupted and so on.
> >
> > Sandy
> >
> > On Fri, 2010-01-08 at 03:43 -0800, Cherie Wren wrote:
> >> In ASL the tense is one of the first things stated in a story.
> Then
> >> tense is not restated until it changes.  So if Lourdes set up that
> the
> >> story happened in the past at the beginning of the story; "Once
> upon a
> >> time" or the equivalent, then EVERY verb from then until it changed
> IF
> >> it changed would look like present tense on the surface, but that
> is
> >> only because the tense has already been established.  English has
> to
> >> state the tense with every flippin' verb.  ASL does not.  (Sorry,
> >> can't comment about BSL ::smile::)
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> ______________________________________________________________________
> >> From: Sandy Fleming <sandy at fleimin.demon.co.uk>
> >> To: SignWriting List <sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu>
> >> Sent: Fri, January 8, 2010 3:59:56 AM
> >> Subject: Re: [sw-l] question for the way to express 'made'
> >>
> >> I'd agree with Trevor's grammar here:
> >>
> >> PAST FOOD COOK (hold with aspect) FINISHED.
> >>
> >> "PAST" is the time marker (there's no actual tense in BSL) and
> >> generally
> >> comes in the narrative before the things that happen at that time
> >>
> >> "FINISHED" (or "BEEN") is the perfective aspect, and follows the
> verb
> >> (though not all aspect is handled this way).
> >>
> >> But Shane's:
> >>
> >> FOOD COOK PAST
> >>
> >> isn't wrong, it just needs support from non-manual features, as he
> >> points out. To me it gives a different emphasis, more on WHEN the
> food
> >> was cooked, rather than the actual cooking.
> >>
> >> Does anyone perceive any semantic difference between:
> >>
> >> FOOD COOK FINISHED
> >>
> >> and:
> >>
> >> FOOD COOK BEEN
> >>
> >> in BSL? You'd think that "FINISHED" would have more of an
> achievement
> >> associated with it but it seems to me that this connotation is lost
> in
> >> using it as a perfective.
> >>
> >> I would love to write some grammar rules for SignWriting BSL: that
> >> sort
> >> of thing would help people to write with more confidence, I think,
> but
> >> I
> >> don't really feel qualified.
> >>
> >> Sandy
> >>
> >> On Thu, 2010-01-07 at 22:20 +0000, Trevor Jenkins wrote:
> >> > Hi Shane,
> >> >
> >> > Interesting. I'd put that BSL time marker earlier. Something like
> >> >
> >> > PAST FOOD COOK (hold with aspect) FINISHED.
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > On Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 5:05 PM, Shane Gilchrist
> >> > <shane.gilchrist.oheorpa at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> > > Dear Gan,
> >> > >
> >> > > we dont really have past tenses in the same sense as the
> English
> >> > > language - for instance, in BSL (using glosses - sorry!)
> >> > >
> >> > > I made food:
> >> > >
> >> > > - FOOD COOK^nodding
> >> > > - FOOD COOK PAST
> >> > > - FOOD COOK FINISHED!
> >> > >
> >> > > non-manual features are very important here.
> >> > >
> >> > > Shane
> >> > >
> >> > >
> >> > > 2010/1/6 Gan  Lu <glu at uclan.ac.uk>:
> >> > >> Hi Charles;
> >> > >>
> >> > >>  Thanks for the comment. So do you reckon the past tense is
> >> necessary here? And if we use "create". should it be 'Created'
> then?
> >> > >>
> >> > >>  Thanks
> >> > >>  Gan
> >> > >>
> >> > >>>>> "Charles Butler" <chazzer3332000 at yahoo.com> 06/01/10 1:54
> PM
> >> >>>
> >> > >> Hmm.  In context the sign, I would think would be either
> "make"
> >> or "create".  The tense is carried by the situation.
> >> > >>
> >> > >>
> >> > >> create
> >> > >>
> >> > >>
> >> > >>
> >> > >>
> >> > >>
> >> > >> ________________________________
> >> > >> From: Gan Lu <glu at uclan.ac.uk>
> >> > >> To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> >> > >> Sent: Wed, January 6, 2010 8:05:15 AM
> >> > >> Subject: [sw-l] question for the way to express 'made'
> >> > >>
> >> > >> Dear Adam and Valerie;
> >> > >>
> >> > >>  I'm implementing the system now. While I have a question:
> >> > >>
> >> > >>    why can't we use an ASL gesture to express the meaning of
> >> 'made' on the first page of the 'Frosty the Snow Man', other than
> >> using the FingerSpellings to sign these four letters respectively?
> >> > >>
> >> > >>    I suppose the reason is because the word 'made' is a past
> >> tense, and there is no ASL for it.
> >> > >>
> >> > >>  The reason I'm asking is my intention is to implement the
> first
> >> page as a 4-by-4 output pattern, which are 16 sign-boxes in total
> >> includes those punctuations. So I'm looking for a way to squeeze
> the
> >> word 'made' into a box.
> >> > >>
> >> > >>  Thanks
> >> > >> Gan
> >> > >>
> >> > >>
> >> > >>
> >> > >>
> >> > >>
> >> > >> ____________________________________________
> >> > >>
> >> > >> SW-L SignWriting List
> >> > >>
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> >> > >>
> >> > >>
> >> > >>
> >> > >>
> >> > >> ____________________________________________
> >> > >>
> >> > >> SW-L SignWriting List
> >> > >>
> >> > >> Post Message
> >> > >> SW-L at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
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> >> > >>
> >> > >>
> >> > >
> >> > >
> >> > >
> >> > >
> >> > > ____________________________________________
> >> > >
> >> > > SW-L SignWriting List
> >> > >
> >> > > Post Message
> >> > > SW-L at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> >> > >
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> >> > >
> >> > > Change Email Settings
> >> > > http://majordomo.valenciacc.edu/mailman/listinfo/sw-l
> >> > >
> >> > >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> ____________________________________________
> >>
> >> SW-L SignWriting List
> >>
> >> Post Message
> >> SW-L at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
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> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ____________________________________________
> >
> > SW-L SignWriting List
> >
> > Post Message
> > SW-L at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> >
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> >
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> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ____________________________________________
> >
> > SW-L SignWriting List
> >
> > Post Message
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> >
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> >
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> >
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Regards, Trevor.
> 
> <>< Re: deemed!
> 
> 
> 
> 
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> 
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> 
> 
> 
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