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Re: Multimodal language (was: Wordless language (was: NonVerbal Conlang?))

From:And Rosta <and.rosta@...>
Date:Thursday, July 6, 2006, 0:55
Patrick Littell, On 03/07/2006 02:14:
> If I were an auxlanger, point #1 on my manifesto would be a phonology in > which each underlying representation can surface either orally or > manually. That is, some underlying form /xyz/ could either surface as, > say, [kai] or as [thumb-touching-nose] or, preferably, both at once. > Each phonology would have to be simpler than in an oral-only or > manual-only language, but for an IAL that's a feature rather than a bug. > > Some benefits: > > 1. Would greatly reduce the communication barrier between the deaf and > the hearing. > 2. Would provide additional confirmation of a word's identity for the > hard-of-hearing. > 3. Children could begin acquisition at an earlier age than with a purely > spoken language > 4. Unlike, say, an ASL signer having to use English to write in, it > would not be necessary to learn a new language just to write. > 5. Useful in situations in which conditions prevent easy oral > communication. Like at a construction site, or underwater, or while > housebreaking, or while your roommate is asleep, or at the dentist's. > Actually, my first thought was, hey, this would be useful in a noisy bar. > > Anyway, I'm not an auxlanger, and not given to writing manifestos, but I > thought I'd throw this idea out here. Has anyone tried to implement > something like this?
Livagian of a few years ago had manual signs corresponding to each syllable in the phonology. The signs were made with one hand, out of a combination of handshape and bodyarea (the space around the head and torso was divided into areas). Part of the intent of the design is that alternate hands could be used for alternate syllables, and that the rhythm of signing would be similar to the rhythm of speaking. The paradigmatic patterning of signs mirrored the paradigmatic patterning of syllables. The rationale for having such a scheme was primarily (5), and also environments where silence is necessaru, and secondarily (1). Subsequent changes to the phonology invalidated the sign counterpart. There's a new sign counterpart, but it's a bit fingerspellingy. --And.