Constructed sign languages
- Have any of you ever made a constructed sign language? I'm thinking of
creating one, and I'd like to look at some existing constructed ones.
- On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 11:51 PM, Alex Fink <000024@...> wrote:
>"eight-oh-I", currently... *shrug* I do eventually want to develop the
> How, if at all, do you speak the name "8'0i"?
spoken languages of the region, at which point it'll be given a local
> Have you given thought to influences of 8'0i on the spoken languages inI haven't developed these languages, as noted above. Certainly there'll be
> its territory? In particular, I imagine they can easily calque from it,
> but do they directly borrow from it, and if so do is this as handsigns in
> an otherwise spoken matrix or something more nativizing somehow? (Are
> there, like, "handshape-words" that give the mirror image of initialized
> borrowings in ASL?)
quite a bit of calquing. I imagine that there would also be a kind of
cross-medium compounding in which a signed modifier is signed simultaneous
to a spoken head and the two then get lexicalized together as something
I'd also be interested to explore the way that the prosody of the two might
interact. I could imagine in the above dual-mode words having a
polysyllabic signed component result in reduplication of a spoken word with
fewer syllables, which might eventually obviate the need for the signed
component in speech.
> Where did Low get all the extra handshapes, and the wiggling, and theYes – survivals from Old that were lost in the poetry. In particular, the
> other features that seem like unconditioned splits? Are they survivals
> from Old that were lost in the poetic tradition that became Classical?
poetic tradition definitely used a limited set of handshapes. Special
secondary motion (wiggling, for instance) likely came from a primary motion
that reduced over time.
> What is the phonetic content of the index pluraliser /-p/?About what you'd expect: a horizontal motion to point at all relevant index
> What is the notational difference between handshapes 7 and 10, which bothWhoops, LaTeX error on my part. 7 and 8 should be /8_/ and /9_/,
> look like eights to me?
respectively; LaTeX converted that to a subscript closing /.
Is there a guideline to know which orientation to read signs in if you
> don't write it? I can't always tell which one's supposed to be natural.Orientation marking is the biggest failing of my transcription system, in
retrospect. If the location is on the body, the palm is towards the body;
if its in neutral space and one handed, the palm probably faces out; if its
in neutral space and two handed, the palms probably face each other.
What sort of subsyllabic affixes or other processes are there that make
> forms to which rule 2.4 applies? For the other rules I imagine compoundingDerivational processes, primarily. For instance, /-i/ is a nominalizer
> at least provides input.
(giving us /8'0@/ 'say' > /8'0i/). I don't think I have any examples
currently in the lexicon, but a verb with a handshape change would undergo
rule 2.4 here.
> So you've studied sign languages in cross-linguistic perspective, then?Somewhat. There's very little truly good work on this, in my perspective,
> I've seen more or less no material on that, and would like to.
but my alma matter linguistics department had a good pseudo-Deaf Studies
track, which I did some of (including a great conference hosted by the
college) and had a close friend who did all of. I can't seem to find the
relevant syllabi just now; if I do, I'll send them your way.
And by the Deaf community, I take it you mean the ASL one? As previous
> threads have established, the things they find hearing-biased are by farYes, I did mean the ASL one, although IME they like to think that there's a
> not the ones I might've guessed from a state of no knowledge. Writing
> one's own language is too hearingy, but imposing a vast layer of
> initialized relexification on it from English is not?
pan-Deaf culture of sorts (which is clearly a little silly). I think
similar considerations apply for the BSL community; less sure about others.
Again IME, the ASL community actually mostly *does* really oppose
wide-spread initialization. Some initialization has been in the language
long enough that it's just part of regional (= school) accent and
thus definitely a "Deaf" thing, but really initialized speech will get
criticized for being signed English (even if it's not following English
I think a better example is from DGS (German SL), which IIRC basically
mouths the spoken word alongside nearly every noun and many verbs. It
doesn't initialize at all, but this mouthing is completely lexicalized.
That would seem really Hearing-y to me, but neither the German nor the
American community would see it as such.
>Mmm, I suppose I agree. A lot hinges on your not marking neutral space,
> I suppose a nice feature of your assignment of handshape = C, place = V is
> that in ASL (and in 8'0i) the set of handshapes seems richer in structure
> than the set of places. But it still seems not quite as good a fit from
> the achieving structural isomorphism perspective.
which was problematic in my analysis where I encoded primary motion only by
end-points. For my orthography and language I still think that was the
right decision, though I recall that, when working on the ASL writing
system with my Deaf Studies friend, she found this extremely unintuitive.