Moments of Permanence - Post a comment

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June 7th, 2009 - 08:39 pm
I'm wondering if the stumbling block here is because you're well-studied in linguistics, which is about spoken language. I mean that perhaps you may be subconsciously expecting to see familiar linguistic patterns in the written language that deaf people use, and, exactly because you don't see them, you see "null" instead of "different"?

Alphabets are based on spoken language -- the characters are a visual notation for sounds. If one doesn't use sound to communicate, but gestures and pictures, why an alphabet for one's own non-verbal communication? It seems like it would be for the benefit of the hearing, rather than the deaf.

Disclaimer: I'm not deaf; I have no close friends or family who are. I did take courses in ASL ~1980 in California. At that point a good 1/4 of the course was discussing the immense differences between spoken language and signed language. It also taught that ASL isn't the same as signed English and that there's no one sign language since they each developed with input from the spoken languages around them.
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