Dublin Signs

Shane Gilchrist Ó hEorpa shane.gilchrist.oheorpa at FRANCISMAGINN.ORG
Fri Aug 5 12:45:06 UTC 2005

When the Dominican Sisters started St Mary's School for Deaf Girls, they
didn’t want to include boys - it was a very strange order (groups of nuns) -
they had weird theories about sexuality and all that - but however they did
start the school - and then I believe they brainwashed the Archbishop of
Dublin to set up separate schools - one for girls one for boys...the
Archbishop said "Oh, no mixing between deaf boys and deaf girls - it ll
result in deaf babies!" but that was because of the Dominican Sisters and
their propaganda-making.

Remember, there were separate deaf clubs - one for deaf men, one for deaf
women - in Dublin - they started to "integrate" in the 1950s or 1960s I
think - maybe earlier - and until the 1950s, deaf people down South were
told NOT to marry each other - just marrying outside the deaf community
(which is really stupid)

The most awful thing is that the female variant is very close to the LSF
that was brought over from Caen, France - yet they went and changed the male
variant - and took out or amended the breast-touching signs from the female
variant - that way the girls won't touch their breasts when they sign (which
is a bit stupid cos fluent signers hardly touch their breasts in any sign
language) - and they tried to change the system - that way men won't mouth a
lot - yet women will mouth a lot and rely heavily on lip-reading to
understand each other. And even more, the Dominican Sisters and the
Christian Brothers fought like mad against REAL ISL saying that it’s a bad
language, that everyone MUST use GOOD ENGLISH - they promoted Signed English
HEAVILY in the schools and OUTSIDE the schools (they also ran the deaf
community - the deaf clubs, the deaf churches, the deaf retreats and
everything - if youre from Cabra, don’t be surprised if a Christian Brother
or a Dominican Sister turns up at your father's funeral and try and take
over organising your father's funeral - that’s what theyre so used to!)

Dr Lorraine Leeson and Carmel Grehan at Dublin's Centre for Deaf Studies are
working hard on Women's Signs, recording the signs etc - despite the attacks
from some male deaf leaders saying that womens signs are wrong, that they
used the right signs at the boys' school etc - I do get attacked for using
some womens' signs now and then - and theres a big language war in Dublin -
Anglo-ISL (signed english) vs ISL etc.

That's Dublin for you - we don’t have that complication up North in Belfast
;) despite the fact that our NISL consists of 3 different sign languages:
ASL, ISL (male and female) and BSL!

When I first learned ISL, it was of the female variant - but gradually I
became "male" in my ISL - but with some female signs - I was told that I
sign like a woman in me ISL - yet I sign like a man in my NISL (!)

Rant over and done with!


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu [mailto:owner-sw-
> l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu] On Behalf Of Ingvild Roald
> Sent: 04 August 2005 22:54
> To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> Subject: Re: AW: [sw-l] ESWS - European SW Symposium
> Yes,
> as far as I know they were separated as far from each other as possible,
> and
> contact avoided, because some Hearies were afraid they might get married
> and
> have deaf babies .... God forbid
> Ingvild
> >From: "Valerie Sutton" <sutton at signwriting.org>
> >Reply-To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> >To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> >Subject: Re: AW: [sw-l] ESWS - European SW Symposium
> >Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 12:50:21 -0700
> >
> >SignWriting List
> >August 4th, 2005
> >
> >I believe it has to do with a girl's school for the Deaf, and a boy's
> >school for the Deaf, in Ireland. They had different signed language
> >variants, because they were isolated from each other enough, that it
> >created almost another dialect of ISL...am I right, Shane? I also  heard
> >that they were isolated by religious schools as well?...no  contact with
> >each other will create new dialects and variations of  the same
> language...
> >  Val ;-)
> >
> >-----------------------
> >
> >
> >On Aug 4, 2005, at 12:34 PM, Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:
> >
> >Hi Shane,
> >
> >what is this -- male and female variant of ISL ???????
> >
> >Stefan ;-)
> >
> >
> >
> >-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> >Von: owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> >[mailto:owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu] Im Auftrag von Shane
> >Gilchrist
> >Ó hEorpa
> >Gesendet: Donnerstag, 4. August 2005 11:47
> >An: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> >Betreff: RE: [sw-l] ESWS - European SW Symposium
> >
> >Chas,
> >
> >Sometimes knowing more than one national sign language does help a  lot -
> >and
> >if one is a sign linguist in Europe, getting to know LSF (French Sign
> >Language) would be VERY USEFUL because most national sign languages in
> >Europe have started from LSF.
> >
> >With my native NISL, I had to learn BSL (British) and at least 5 of  its
> >many
> >dialects, ISL (Irish) and its male variant, female variant and north
> >variant, ASL, fairly LSF and a bit of TID (Turkish), KSL (Kenyan) and  a
> >bit
> >of DGS (German), a bit of VGT (Flemish), a bit of LSFB (Franco- Belgian)
> >and
> >a bit of NGT (Dutch) - I feel it is of some benefits to me as a Sign
> >Linguist - and that is how I got to know that NISL is a separate
> language
> >with a large amount of ASL, LSF, BSL and ISL inside it.
> >
> >Many fluent signers DO find it easy to pick up signs - it’s the  question
> >of
> >keeping signs separate!!! :-o
> >
> >Shane
> >
> >
> >________________________________________
> >From: owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> >[mailto:owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu] On Behalf Of Charles Butler
> >Sent: 03 August 2005 18:24
> >To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> >Subject: Re: [sw-l] ESWS - European SW Symposium
> >
> >Hi Geoffrey,
> >
> >Charles Butler here.
> >
> >I know the feeling of being overwhelmed at the task of doing anything  in
> >an
> >extra language, spoken or unspoken.  I am fluent in English, passably
> >fluent
> >in ASL, can read Portuguese fairly well, and am beginning (at 52) to
> learn
> >Libras enough to transcribe it and compare it to ASL.
> >
> >As a coordinator of Signed Language research, particularly a linguist, I
> >would suggest that you focus on coordination more than day-to-day
> >knowledge.  Helping to coordinate the various groups (such as the  ESWS)
> >with
> >other groups working in signed languages for Europe would be a doable
> >task.
> >Focusing on the linguistic need for documentation of the 63 languages
> will
> >be a task in itself.  You don't have to do the work alone, yours  should
> be
> >a
> >task of locating native users who would like to be involved in the
> >linguistic research, much as you would with any other spoken language.
> >
> >Remember that Valerie Sutton (the inventor of our system) knows only one
> >Signed Language and that word by word (ASL).  She relies upon her Deaf
> >friends to translate, communicate, and converse on linguistic issues.
> >She posted a recent article on Verb forms in ASL, but that was  relying
> >upon
> >other linguists work to show the differentiation between inflected  forms
> >of
> >a verb.  Such a comparison between two signed languages, such as British
> >Sign Language and Norwegian Sign Language (to name two) would be a  task
> to
> >involve linguists in two separated linguistic bases, as compared to
> French
> >Sign Language and ASL (which incorporated major portions of it at its
> >inception).
> >
> >Coordination is a way you could strongly help users of separate
> linguistic
> >communities to realize that their own communication skills are  important
> >in
> >preservation and history.  Helping to start, and fund, a linguistic
> >endeavor
> >in the 63 currently used languages (and perhaps capturing the 7
> moribund)
> >would be fascinating, I would think.
> >
> >Does that help?
> >
> >Charles Butler
> >
> >Geoffrey Hunt <geoffrey_hunt at sil.org> wrote:
> >Stephan wrote and asked me to contribute my impressions of the European
> >SignWriting Symposium. I'm a little reluctant to do this, because I am
> >probably the least competent person to do it. Let me explain why...
> >
> >I am a member of SIL International, an organisation that in one way or
> >another is associated with work in over 1,300 languages worldwide,
> almost
> >all of them spoken languages. For twelve years I worked in Ghana as a
> >linguist/translator and, since then, have mostly been involved with  the
> >use
> >of computers for language work, but always for spoken languages.  Then,
> two
> >and a half years ago, my then boss asked me, as an additional task,  to
> be
> >involved with coordinating work in sign languages for the SIL Eurasia
> Area
> >(the whole of Europe, the former Soviet Union and parts of Africa and
> west
> >Asia). I decided I needed to find out what he was ! talking about, so
> set
> >about gathering a list of all the sign languages for which I could find
> >details. For the Eurasia Area I have a list of 70 SLs, of which 7 are
> >extinct or nearly so. So which one of these 63 SLs should I attempt to
> >learn in my part-time role? At my late stage in life, it does not seem
> >practical to start learning any of them, because I could not do it well.
> >(Let me know what you think.) So you see why I feel particularly
> >unqualified to contribute.
> >
> >One thing that does interest me is how computers could be used to  serve
> >the
> >Deaf community, either for use by the Deaf or for use by those  working
> >with
> >the Deaf. So I came to ESWS because I wanted to link up with those
> already
> >involved in writing such software. We in SIL are starting such software
> >development using the Python programming language, so it was
> particularly
> >useful to meet Lars, whose own development work is using Python.
> >
> >The best thing about ESWS was meeting! the participants. Obviously, I
> >could
> >not communicate with everyone, but I appreciated the general
> camaraderie.
> >I
> >learnt a lot, particularly about SW and Deaf culture. And I made new
> >friends and look forward to meeting you at future events. A few of us
> >tried
> >to decide on a sign for me, but it doesn't seem quite right, so  perhaps
> I
> >will have to wait for another time.
> >
> >Best wishes,
> >
> >Geoffrey (Hunt)
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: Stefan Wöhrmann [mailto:stefanwoehrmann at gebaerdenschrift.de]
> >Sent: 28 July 2005 22:38
> >To: 'Geoffrey_Hunt'
> >Subject: AW: [sw-l] ESWO
> >
> >Hello Geoffrey,
> >
> >I am so happy to know you on the list - very welcome!!!
> >Of course - I will send some pictures -;-)
> >
> >Can you post your ideas , impressions, ?
> >What happened in your group from your point of view?
> >
> >I am very interested in any comment - just as we concluded at the end  of
> >the
> >meeting.
> >
> >Stefan ;-)
> >
> >Just btw what was you! r name sign ? I forgot my notes in the
> restaurant.
> >I
> >am sorry!
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >

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