[sw-l] non-deaf people and mouthing

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Fri Feb 25 21:48:07 UTC 2005

SignWriting List
February 25, 2005

On Feb 25, 2005, at 1:15 PM, Shane Gilchrist Ó hEorpa wrote:
> I believe non-deaf signers CAN mouth in ASL/NISL/BSL/VGT/DGS/PJM as
> good if
> not better as deaf fluent signers :-)
Yes, Shane, but I think you are missing the point...Of course people
from other cultures, such as non-Deaf and Deaf cultures, can learn each
other's languages, and some can do it so well, that they sign like
natives or speak like natives...

But my point is that here in the US, a native ASL signer does NOT mouth
in English with other native signing people...mouthing in English
versus mouthing that is associated with ASL grammar are two very
different things here...and it was my understanding from my Deaf
friends, that if people mouth in English while they try to sign
ASL...that you can't because that is not real ASL...it is something
inbetween English and ASL...and there is nothing wrong with that...but
it is not pure ASL...you can't mix the two...and ASL definitely can
stand alone without mouthing specific English words...the mouth
movements are different in true ASL grammar...Stuart is Deaf from the
US and just explained the same thing...

Meanwhile, Stuart and I are wondering if it is different in Europe?
When two fluent signing Deaf people in BSL sign to each other, without
any non-deaf people in the room...do they mouth every single word in
English while they are signing in BSL grammar? Have you ever videotaped
the differences when a non-deaf person suddenly enters the room? How do
the native Deaf signers change their language to accomodate the
non-deaf person?

We have done that study here, and there is a difference like night and

Val ;-)

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