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AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE

ASL is arguably the crown jewel of American Deaf culture.  Language and cultural identity are inextricably related, as it not only identifies group members to one another and to the world, it is also imbued with linguistic markers reflective of group history, values, mores, and traditions. For more about this rich and beautiful language, click here.

NAME SIGNS

Fictional Fred is 55 years old and hearing.  Fred's parents are deaf.  His sister is deaf and his brother is hearing.  

One day, when he was three years old, little Freddy went missing.  His panicked mother scoured every room in the house and his older sister and brother joined in the search.  

Suddenly, Fred's brother recalled Fred's fascination with tree-climbing the day before.  They all rushed outside to check the back yard for the missing toddler.  Sure enough, there on a low branch of the crab-apple tree sat Freddy.  At the top of his three-year-old lungs, Freddy was having a whale of a time belting out his very own rendition of George M. Cohan's Harrigan.

For the remainder of Fred's childhood, if you wanted to find Little Freddy, you had simply to step outdoors, follow the trail of show tunes (that would inevitable lead you to some tree or other), and look up.  There you could find Freddy, utterly steeped in what was clearly a world of arboreal glory.

While Fred was growing up, his sign name was TREE but modified using an "F" handshape in place of the "5" handshape -- no surprise.

... Fred's story to be continued.

HOME SIGNS

Home signs are not considered ASL.  Home signs are typically gestural and typically are negotiated signs developed for use during childhood and with members of one's family.

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This page was edited: 09/13/2009
This page has been visited Hit Counter times since: July 17, 2008.
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