[sw-l] non-deaf people and mouthing

Shane Gilchrist Ó hEorpa shane.gilchrist.oheorpa at FRANCISMAGINN.ORG
Fri Feb 25 21:15:49 UTC 2005


We have a lot of non-deaf people who can sign fluently - as some deafies ll
say "oh they sign like a deaf person!" which is a bit unfair as there are a
lot of deaf people who mouth almost every word in English.

My non-deaf mother mouth quite well in NISL whereas Dad mouth in English
(which is confusing) - but its cos Mam had Agnes Carberry, a very good NISL
teacher as her teacher AND her good mate.

I believe non-deaf signers CAN mouth in ASL/NISL/BSL/VGT/DGS/PJM as good if
not better as deaf fluent signers :-)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu [mailto:owner-sw-
> l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu] On Behalf Of Valerie Sutton
> Sent: 25 February 2005 20:34
> To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> Subject: Re: [sw-l] mouthing in the EU
> SignWriting List
> February 25, 2005
> I just looked at our second video in the Deaf Perspectives on
> SignWriting video series...and Butch Zein, from a Deaf family of
> 5-generations Deaf, and Kevin Clark, three generations Deaf
> family...they both did not mouth as much as I did, when I signed on the
> video! Shame on me! Obviously I am a non-Deaf person...but the born
> Deaf native signers were using mouth movements related to ASL, but not
> to English mouthing...I wonder what native signers do in Europe, when
> no hearing (non-deaf) people are in the room, and they are signing to
> each other?...do they mouth spoken language?...Val ;-)
> ----------------------
> On Feb 25, 2005, at 12:21 PM, Valerie Sutton wrote:
> > SignWriting List
> > February 25, 2005
> >
> > On Feb 25, 2005, at 11:51 AM, Stuart Thiessen wrote:
> >> It is my understanding that the primary difference in mouthing
> >> between ASL and some European sign languages is that in most cases in
> >> the US, the sign can be understood on its own separate from the
> >> mouthed spoken language. Naturally, we do have our facial expressions
> >> which add information, but I am focused on where the mouthing matches
> >> English itself. Offhand, I can't think of an ASL sign that must have
> >> an English mouthing to distinguish its meaning from the same exact
> >> sign but a different English mouthing. Can any other ASL users on the
> >> list think of an example?  I know some ASL users will mouth a
> >> specific English word as they sign to indicate the English word they
> >> want to convey, but the ASL concept is usually sufficient to
> >> understand the sentence without the mouthing.
> >
> > Stuart, Shane, Stefan and Everyone -
> > I believe, Stuart, that you are correct that there is a difference.
> > Let me tell you why...
> >
> > Instinctively, as a non-Deaf person (smile....Shane likes the term
> > non-Deaf rather than hearing person)....I know, that if a Deaf ASL
> > signers starts mouthing English words while communicating with me,
> > that they feel, that because I am hearing, I need that or I will not
> > understand them...But as a person who wants to learn ASL, I will ask
> > them to turn off any voice, and please don't mouth English to me,
> > because I want to learn ASL, and they immediately say...wow! so great
> > to know a person who wants to learn ASL, and then they turn off the
> > mouthing of English words, and I can understand their ASL much better
> > then...the mouthing confuses me because ASL is not English...that I
> > think is proof that ASL does not have to have mouthing English words
> > to exist...The facial expressions in ASL are important to the grammar,
> > but they are not mouthing of a spoken language...
> >
> > Val ;-)
> >
> >

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