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sign lang & creoles (was Re: theory (was: Re: Greenberg's Word Order Universals)

From:Jonathan Chang <zhang2323@...>
Date:Monday, September 18, 2000, 20:56
In a message dated 2000:09:18 11:48:15 AM, yl112@CORNELL.EDU writes:

>Gosh, I'd love to learn that. It seems to me you could do away with an >awful lot of things with context and gestures (gestures are the only >reason half the class understands our German instructor sometimes, when >she's introducing new vocabulary/expressions--all in German). > >I would love to develop a con-sign language, BTW, but unfortunately >haven't had the opportunity to learn any natsignlang. It would be really >neat to see if you could de-linearize things and speak more radially, >concurrently, develop ideas in parallel...I'm sure there are wonderful >things sign-speakers use. I just want to wait until I can take some >basic Ameslan-or-other-sign language course before attempting such a >thing, and transcription would be a pain (I can do fantasy arts but my >diagrams are horrible).
Incidentally there are a lotta similaries between the syntaxes of pidgins, creoles and various sign languages (ASL - American Sign Language; Chinese Sign Language; Paget-Gorman Sign Language; etc). From _Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language_, a transliteration of signing: Two children. One marry. Two grandchildren. Work close frat building. One still school. Mother gone. My aunt true me phone. Sorry can't funeral. Me work. Me awful cry. Come night. ALSO: many sign languages have aspect modulation systems similar to creoles, i.e. (just a few intriguing examples): - an "uninflected" sign usually is stative or simple past-before-past: "be stupid" - predispositional aspect (!): i.e. circular motion close head before verb-sign: "prone to be stupid" - continuative aspect/elliptical modulation: 3 repetitions of verb-sign: "stupid for a long time" - incessant aspect/ tremolo modulation: "never stops being stupid" - frequentative aspect/ marcato modulation: "often stupid" - resultative aspect/ accelerando modulation: "became stupid" (I imagine this means silly as a drunk college frat-boy in this context) (NOTE: the musical terminology for modulations!!!!! nifty... :::runs to Viivo notes, frenetic like a ferret "skating" on a marble floor:: *eek, no brakes....*) czHANg << One thing foreigners, computers, & poets have in common is that they make unexpected linguistic associations. >> * Jasia Reichardt - creative cyberneticist *