[sw-l] mouthing in the EU

Sandy Fleming sandy at SCOTSTEXT.ORG
Sun Feb 27 07:42:37 UTC 2005

Hi Shane,

> > It works both ways. In BSL we only have one sign for husband/wife, but
> > that's OK.
> The sign is very very similar.
> The sign for "husband" is more forceful than the gentler sign for
> "wife" in
> BSL ;-)

That's interesting! This is the trouble with being taught BSL as a deafened
person, teachers often give weird answers to the "problem" of distinguishing
signs. While one teacher will say the lip pattern distinguishes the meaning
of the signs, another will say that you have to sing "nam-spouse" and
"woman-spouse". All the subtleties of the language are lost!

I think this has something to do with the structure of the CACDP curriculum.
It starts with SSE and a few BSL features at Level 1, then attempts to
gradually convert students to more and more BSL in subsequent years. This
seems to leave many teachers stumped about how to explain things properly at
Level 1.

> Don’t you love the BSL/NISL/ISL mouthing for "finish" - we mouth it as
> "fish"!!!!!! yet we mouth "fish" as "fik" or "fick"

I tend to think of the first one as "fsh" but the the second one just seems
like gripping the lower lip with the teeth and releasing it. Maybe I don't
observe well enough, or maybe there are dialectical variations for this sort
of thing too!

Just thinking about my own signing, I don't use the mouthing for either of
the two signs for "finish" that I commonly use, though I think I do usually
mouth for "fish". Of course, this really has nothing to do with
distinguishing meanings, as these signs are perfectly unmistakeable by


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