A Historical and Etymological Dictionary of American Sign by Emily Shaw, Visit Amazon's Yves Delaporte Page, search

By Emily Shaw, Visit Amazon's Yves Delaporte Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Yves Delaporte, , Carole Marion

The tale of ways American signal Language (ASL) got here to be is nearly mythic. within the early nineteenth century, a listening to American reverend, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, met a Deaf French educator, Laurent Clerc, who agreed to return to the USA and support determine the 1st college in the United States to exploit signal language to coach deaf young children. the path of ASL’s improvement meanders at this element. No documentation of early ASL was once released till the overdue nineteenth century, virtually seven a long time after the school’s founding. whereas there are numerous lacking items within the background of America’s signal language, lots of facts exist relating to ASL etymology. This booklet is the 1st to assemble all recognized texts that includes illustrations of early ASL and old pictures of French signal Language—langue des signes française (LSF)—and hyperlink them with modern signs.

     Through rigorous learn of historic texts, box study in groups all through France and the united states, and an in-depth research of the cultural teams liable for the lexicon, authors Emily Shaw and Yves Delaporte current a compelling and distinctive account of the origins of over 500 ASL indicators, together with nearby adaptations. geared up alphabetically via an identical English glosses, every one signal is followed by means of a succinct description of its foundation and an LSF signal the place applicable. that includes an introductory bankruptcy at the heritage of the improvement of ASL and the etymological technique utilized by the authors, this reference source breaks new flooring within the research of America’s signal language.

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Example text

Later, brave, courage evolved so that the hands begin on the shoulders rather than the chest, leaving the connection with the heart no longer visible. ” The big loaves of bread of this era were held against the chest with the left hand while the knife sliced through ASL bread, LSF pain breadâ•…â•…33 the bread towards the left arm. Clark’s description is very similar: “holding left hand, back to left, fingers extended and pointing to front . . make motion of cutting off slices of bread with lower edge of extended right hand, held back to right, parallel to left, and some inches from it” (1885).

The first is the nineteenth-century French sign bon (good; see good) followed by a form of negation (see don’t want). Clark (1885) also notes bad as a compound of the sign good and “then turn the hand back down, as it is thrown down to left,” a sign of negation. Although there are no texts in France that document the existence of this form in old LSF, a sign identical in form and meaning does exist in Saint-Laurent-en-Royans. There the school for the deaf retained many signs Â�historically similar to ASL, suggesting that this sign for bad did exist in old LSF as well.

The outer edge of the left hand is implicated in a family of signs linked to skill, precision, and, in this case, automaticity (see entries skill and technical). ASL automatic automaticâ•…â•…17 autu mn The symbolism behind this sign is fairly transparent. The raised left arm represents a tree and the right hand represents the falling leaves (Clark 1885). A similar but more iconic sign, automne (autumn), exists in LSF, where the open hand depicts a leaf falling from a tree. The brushing contact of the right hand with the left elbow in the ASL sign slightly obscures its root.

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