sandy at SCOTSTEXT.ORG
Sun Jul 9 07:20:05 UTC 2006
Here in the south of England the "oral" English features of BSL go on a
spectrum amongst different signers. Some apply English "keywords" to
every single sign, some only keyword a selection of signs, some keyword
only those signs which they feel they can make more specific by
keywording, some keyword only fingerspelling, and some use no English at
This seems to me to depend strongly on the sort of education a person
got, and education for the Deaf in England being a rather confused
affair, all sorts of signing styles can be seen.
On the whole, strong keywording isn't much liked, even amongst people
who habitually use it. It slows the signing, interferes with native BSL
mouth patterns and even mood indicators, discourages the use of visual
aspects of the language, and places higher demands on the listeners'
concentration. People with Usher's can have a very hard time of it.
As one of the many learners who are practising to eradicate English lip
patterns from their own BSL, I certainly wouldn't introduce it into my
Ingvild Roald wrote:
> Well, as one of the northern Europeans,
> and one transcribing from natie signers' videos, I must say that at
> least in Norway, there are two types of neccessay information give by
> the face:
> 1:there are the 'non-manuals', the special facial expressions
> belonging to Norwegian SL itself, and
> 2: there are the mouthing movement stemming from borrowing from
> Norwegian spoken language. Norwegian signers tend to focus on the
> mouth, with the hands and the eybrows etc etc being in more of a
> In addition to these two main informations given by the face, there is
> also, as Val said, information about the mood, so, yes, the face is
> very important.
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