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Chapter 14: Distributional Aspects

 

Baker, C. & Cokely, D. (1991). American Sign Language: A Teacher’s Resource Text on Grammar and Culture. (Pages 427-442) Clerc Books: Gallaudet University. Washington DC.

  • Similar to the way that there are inflect specific to time, there are also inflections specific to the distribution within a group of people. The way these inflections are signed is the decision of the signer as there is no one correct way. (example: I gave candy to each one of you, or I gave you all candy) both meant the same thing.
  • Examples of the four inflections are (a) to all in a group (b) to all in a group “each” (c) to “specific” in a group (d) to all “unspecific”. My example demonstrated will be done with money.
  • More advance signers are able to use both temporal and distributional aspects at the same time. This is important when using ASL as it will deliver the message more accurately.

Burning Question:

I am curious to know if the new ASL curriculum has had any impact on the negative views by parents, audiologists, mainstream hearing teachers of Deaf children. Do you think a big change is soon to hit?

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Chapter 13: Temporal Aspects

Baker, C. & Cokely, D. (1991). American Sign Language: A Teacher’s Resource Text on Grammar and Culture. (Pages 401-426) Clerc Books: Gallaudet University. Washington DC.

  • ASL gives information regarding time with verb modulations. This simply means that the duration or frequency of the “event” is expressed rather then the actual time of the event. For example: a repeated circular motion, straight line movement, slower composed of a round thrust, Short hold at the end of the thrust.
  • The Verb inflection used by the signer will change depending on the way in which the signer viewed the event. “Over Time, Regularly, Long Time, Over and Over Again”. That means that there is not only one way to sign an event
  • Non-manual behaviors are also important when discussing Temporal Aspects. Examples of these non-manual behaviors are body position and facial expression which can show a number of things such as if the experience is positive or negative.

Burning Question: Is it incorrect in ASL to do temporal aspects with a time feature?

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Chapter 12: Pluralization

Baker, C. & Cokely, D. (1991). American Sign Language: A Teacher’s Resource Text on Grammar and Culture. (Pages 361-400) Clerc Books: Gallaudet University. Washington DC.

  • Pluralization refers to the different ways that ASL (American Sign Language) identifies that there is more that one person involved. For example how the words “they” and “we” are used. Comparing the different these same words in English is done by adding “s” on the end.
  • Classifier hand shape examples that identify singular are “A”, “3”, “1”. These same handshapes can be made plural by dragging or identifying a specific number with a bouncing motion to show that there is more then one.
  •  Specifically discussing people and pluralization can be interesting. The example in the book was, “girl walking home and two boys walked up to her”. This example shows how easy it is to identify when there is more than one person involved and even if there are 4-5 people involved. Different ways will be shown.

Burning Question: Which of these chapters to you feel interpreters struggle with most as students?

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Chapter 9: Subject and Object

Baker, C. & Cokely, D. (1991). American Sign Language: A Teacher’s Resource Text on Grammar and Culture. (Pages 247-285) Clerc Books: Gallaudet University. Washington DC.

  • Subject and Object are identified in three different ways in ASL. They are modulations, use of certain sign order, changes in signers body position to represent different speaker
  • Changes in signers body position refers to role shifting, when the signer takes on the character or the narrator in the story
  • How is 1st person to 3rd person established in ASL? The use of space is important when describing how many people are involved or with whom the discourse included. The signer is always the first person.

Reflection: Subject, Object is an area where I struggle in this program. I wish I read this chapter a little sooner to be able to apply some of what I have learned in this chapter. I found this chapter to be very interesting.

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Chapter 6: Sentence Types

Baker, C. & Cokely, D. (1991). American Sign Language: A Teacher’s Resource Text on Grammar and Culture. (Pages 121 - 174) Clerc Books: Gallaudet University. Washington DC. 

• A signers facial, eye gaze and head behaviors are indicators within ASL as to the function of the sentence. In ASL there are three basic sentences which are statement, questions and commands. 
• Statements are the most visually simple to recognize. The absence of any special signal can indicate that it is a declarative sentence. 
There are two types of questions in ASL. Yes/No questions or WH-word questions
Commands are sentences that order the addressee to do something. This is usually identified by a direct eye gaze.
• Finally, I will demonstrate the three different forms of sentences. In the statement sentence I will demonstrate how it will contain no questions, commands or conditionals.

Reflection: This chapter was the toughest for me. Key words and terms were hard for me to explain, for example, grammatical phrases. However, I managed to make it through. Thank you for being such a down to earth teacher. Happy holidays!

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Chapter 5: Selected Sign Types

Baker, C. & Cokely, D. (1991). American Sign Language: A Teacher’s Resource Text on Grammar and Culture. (Pages 103 - 121) Clerc Books: Gallaudet University. Washington DC. 

• In history, Linguist thought that nouns and verbs were all signed the same way. For example: sit and chair or car and drive. However, after more analysis was done on nouns and verbs, we now see that information was false.
• To analyze nouns and verbs you can separate it into 3 different dimensions (1) Frequency (2) Directionality (3) Manner.
• Frequency can be described as either a “single” movement or a “repeated” movement. (Show examples) Directionality refers to the direction the sign is moving. (Show examples) Manner could be either “continuous” (show examples) “hold” or “restrained”. 

Reflection: This chapter reminded me of how hard it was for my mom growing up. She grew up in a culturally white school and was teased and picked on all the time. I have never had to experience such oppression but I image that she had to deal with similar issues of that in the Deaf culture. My mom had a rough childhood.

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Chapter 4: Sign Formation and Variation

Baker, C. & Cokely, D. (1991). American Sign Language: A Teacher’s Resource Text on Grammar and Culture. (Pages 79 - 101) Clerc Books: Gallaudet University. Washington DC. 


• One makes a sign by combining a specific hand shape, palm orientation and movement in a particular location. These four things are called perameters. 
• Each perameter has numerous primes. For example “A, 5, O”. 
• Variations in Sign: The same as the English language; based on region, ethnic/racial group, sex or gender or age the sign can be different. Regional separation and oppression of the Deaf communities cause different signs.

Reflection: I can see such a strong Deaf culture in you, Nancy. Did you grow up in a Deaf school or did you ever have to experience a mainstreamed hearing school?

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Chapter 3: English In The Deaf Community.

Baker, C. & Cokely, D. (1991). American Sign Language: A Teacher’s Resource Text on Grammar and Culture. (Pages 63-78) Clerc Books: Gallaudet University. Washington DC. 

• Only about .5% of Deaf people use fingerspelling every word to represent the English language. This can be called Rochester Method or Visible English. Not all Deaf Communities use the same Manual Alphabet.
• What are Codes? Invented by hearing people as a ways of communicating the English language; Braille, SEE1, SEE2, L.O.V.E, and Signed English all rely on the Syntax and Grammar of English. These manual codes are not languages. 
• The original purpose of the codes; SEE1, SEE2 and Signed English was to teach Deaf children English.

Reflection: Nancy, did you always want to be a teacher?