[sw-l] Signed English, not English Sign Language?

Charles Butler chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Jan 31 04:29:09 UTC 2005

Some generally used terms.

ASL - a signed language with its own grammar, which uses some nouns and verbs which have Englsh equivalents, but has, as any other language, its own idioms and expressions that are not "one to one" correspondences.

PSE - Pidgin Signed English.   The words (nouns, verbs, adjectives) of ASL in a more English grammar order.  This does not include noun endings like "ment" or "ed" but more like "my judge faulty" for "my judgement is faulty" which is sort of middle ground between ASL and Signed English.

SEE - Signed Exact English - This is an invention of the public school system to teach children who use ASL the words of ASL in English grammar order complete with English word endings.  Because ASL has different words for "bear" and "bare" (for example) it really does require a knowledge of both languages for "meaning".  They fingerspell "ed" or "s" or "the" or lots of the other little words that make English verbs make sense.  "Have" (as the helping verb), I have told you so (meaning past tense) is often signed with "have" (possession) sign from ASL, so there is much confusion on a grammatical level.  I am NOT an expert in SEE.

I think it is likely, Tini, that you are using some variant of PSE because you don't use all the little "particles" that make English grammar English, but signs in English grammar order.  I tend to use SW in that way myself, with sometimes leaning more toward ASL and sometimes more toward SEE depending on the audience.  Some late-life learning users of Signed Language have more English grammar, some less.

Make sense?

Charles Butler

Valerie Sutton <sutton at signwriting.org> wrote:
SignWriting List
January 30, 2005

Hello Everyone and Tini -
I am no expert, but I thought that when you are signing in English word
order, that that is called Signed English. Not English Sign Language,
which would mean a dialect of British Sign Language to me! But it is
not for me to say. Here in the US, ESL stands for ...English as a
Second Language.. and there are ESL teachers who teach English to
native Spanish speakers...smile...It is ok, Tini - If it is not true
ASL it is good that you have at least differentiated from that...Val


On Jan 30, 2005, at 12:03 PM, Tini Pel wrote:

> Hello Valerie,
> Thank you for the compliments and mentioning on the list about the
> poem. It has been a long time since I did Sign Writing a poem. It made
> me sit with my dictionary again, which was a very good exercise.
> I am still working on your family poem off and on. But I will
> eventually get it.
> You wrote:
> I have a question about your term CESL...for
> Canadian-English-Sign-Language...That is usually called ASL, is it
> not? Or is CESL a separate and unique Sign Language? I never heard
> that term before...
> The reason I said Canadian English. Over the years I have noticed that
> ESL from England at times, is slightly different, as is the Quebec
> French with the French from France
> I have been working together with a deaf person who was at Bellville .
> You may remember me talking about him. He use to correct me often by
> saying that a certain word in ASL was different from his language and
> at times became upset about it. Ofcourse I was taking lessons from him
> so I had to follow his language.
> I am also working with a group of school teachers. Since deaf children
> are now schooled in the elementary schools, the teachers want to learn
> to sign in English for the purpose  of the children to learn to read.
> They don't want ASL because of the grammar.
> I had them read the poem and they loved it.
> I did not know what else to call it, so therefore Canadian English. If
> I am wrong I am open for corrections. Please do so.
> I have been following your latest lessons and printed them all out, so
> when I have time over week-ends I will try it out.
> Thank you so much for that !!!!!
> L.I.F.E.
> Tini.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/sw-l/attachments/20050130/507c7604/attachment.html>

More information about the Sw-l mailing list