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LCC3 suggestion

From:Sai Emrys <sai@...>
Date:Sunday, April 22, 2007, 18:58
Sally -

You have UR there, and also RIT/NTSD. So here's something I've been
thinking of lately.

There's one very major difference I have noticed in asl-using
communities (e.g. Deaf) about how they interact with the language:
there is very overt and intentional language creation going on.

Specifically, new signs are come up with on a relatively frequent
basis, and one relatively frequently comes across alternate signs or
variants for ones one already has. As an example, I was recently
talking (in ASL) with a Deaf friend of mine, and we were discussing
HOPE vs EXPECT, and how is versions of the two were exactly swapped
from others'. But this was very clearly (!!!) not an arbitrary thing;
he was using as 'hope' the multiple sign, and as 'expect' think-(hope,
once)... because he said that the repetition of 'hope' (his version)
is weaker, less certain than the single strong movement in 'expect',
and that the latter needed a more thinky component.

I've seen numerous other examples of this, where people very
intentionally evaluate different signs and decide on which they will
use, create new signs on the fly, etc.

This to me seems very different from English, where it's a rather rare
affair and where dialects are more national than regional... and
certainly not borrowed from very much at all.

I have not, however, seen a single article or book about this in
material on ASL linguistics & sociolinguistics.... and while I can't
claim to be an expert in the field, I have read a fair amount of it.

So, I suggest you ping one of the ASL-interested people at UR, or
someone into linguistics at RIT/NTSD, and see if they'd be interested
in talking about this.

Because it relates to the *intentional* creation of language (and
words), it's within our scope.

- Sai


Sai Emrys <sai@...>