Discussion:
part of a sign
(too old to reply)
Lazypierrot
2019-10-25 07:17:21 UTC
Permalink
I would like to know what "a sign" in the following sentence exactly means.
I wonder if "a sign" means a collection of signs used in a particular sign
language.

Although it is physically possible to include leg movements as part of *a sign*,
and although it is physically possible to gesture below the knees, sign language
grammar imposes constraints that keep signers from making such a wide range of
signs.


Cordially,

LP
Ross
2019-10-25 07:25:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lazypierrot
I would like to know what "a sign" in the following sentence exactly means.
I wonder if "a sign" means a collection of signs used in a particular sign
language.
Rather, a single sign (equivalent of a word or morpheme) in a sign
language.
Post by Lazypierrot
Although it is physically possible to include leg movements as part of *a sign*,
and although it is physically possible to gesture below the knees, sign language
grammar imposes constraints that keep signers from making such a wide range of
signs.
Cordially,
LP
Ken Blake
2019-10-25 15:46:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ross
Post by Lazypierrot
I would like to know what "a sign" in the following sentence exactly means.
I wonder if "a sign" means a collection of signs used in a particular sign
language.
Rather, a single sign (equivalent of a word or morpheme) in a sign
language.
Post by Lazypierrot
Although it is physically possible to include leg movements as part of *a sign*,
and although it is physically possible to gesture below the knees, sign language
grammar imposes constraints that keep signers from making such a wide range of
signs.
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language is
also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it differ
from Ameslan
--
Ken
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2019-10-25 16:15:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Ross
Post by Lazypierrot
I would like to know what "a sign" in the following sentence exactly means.
I wonder if "a sign" means a collection of signs used in a particular
sign language.
Rather, a single sign (equivalent of a word or morpheme) in a sign
language.
Post by Lazypierrot
Although it is physically possible to include leg movements as part of
*a sign*, and although it is physically possible to gesture below the
knees, sign language grammar imposes constraints that keep signers from
making such a wide range of signs.
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language is
also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it differ
from Ameslan
Apparently the different sign languages differ a lot from one another.
British Sign Language is completely different from American Sign
Language, which is, however, related to French Sign Language.
--
athel
Peter T. Daniels
2019-10-25 17:01:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Ross
Post by Lazypierrot
I would like to know what "a sign" in the following sentence exactly means.
I wonder if "a sign" means a collection of signs used in a particular sign
language.
Rather, a single sign (equivalent of a word or morpheme) in a sign
language.
Post by Lazypierrot
Although it is physically possible to include leg movements as part of *a sign*,
and although it is physically possible to gesture below the knees, sign language
grammar imposes constraints that keep signers from making such a wide range of
signs.
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
No, it most emphatically IS NOT.
Post by Ken Blake
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language is
also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it differ
from Ameslan
ASL is descended from French Sign Language and is unrelated to British
Sign Language.

Perhaps you can begin to see a naming pattern. To the extent that signed
languages tend to unify the Deaf communities within a nation, they take
the name of the nation.
Ken Blake
2019-10-25 18:42:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Ross
Post by Lazypierrot
I would like to know what "a sign" in the following sentence exactly means.
I wonder if "a sign" means a collection of signs used in a particular sign
language.
Rather, a single sign (equivalent of a word or morpheme) in a sign
language.
Post by Lazypierrot
Although it is physically possible to include leg movements as part of *a sign*,
and although it is physically possible to gesture below the knees, sign language
grammar imposes constraints that keep signers from making such a wide range of
signs.
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language is
also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it differ
from Ameslan
I hear "ASL" regularly, but not "Ameslan".
| ASL was sometimes referred to as "Ameslan", but this term is now
| considered obsolete.
The page lists Quebec Sign Language (QSL) as a dialect of ASL. I didn't
know it's that close.
There's BSL, SASL, AUSLAN, NZSL etc., but maybe you were specifically
interested in names that aren't just initialisms. I guess AUSLAN is an
example.
No, I wasn't looking for any particulr type of name. I was just curious
as to what they were called outside the US. Thanks.
--
Ken
Ross
2019-10-25 22:47:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Ross
Post by Lazypierrot
I would like to know what "a sign" in the following sentence exactly means.
I wonder if "a sign" means a collection of signs used in a particular sign
language.
Rather, a single sign (equivalent of a word or morpheme) in a sign
language.
Post by Lazypierrot
Although it is physically possible to include leg movements as part of *a sign*,
and although it is physically possible to gesture below the knees, sign language
grammar imposes constraints that keep signers from making such a wide range of
signs.
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language is
also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it differ
from Ameslan
I hear "ASL" regularly, but not "Ameslan".
| ASL was sometimes referred to as "Ameslan", but this term is now
| considered obsolete.
The page lists Quebec Sign Language (QSL) as a dialect of ASL. I didn't
know it's that close.
There's BSL, SASL, AUSLAN, NZSL etc., but maybe you were specifically
interested in names that aren't just initialisms. I guess AUSLAN is an
example.
--
For spirits when they please
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure,
-- Milton, Paradise Lost
New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is not called anything else, as far as
I'm aware. In 2006 it became the country's third official language --
possibly the only sign language to have that status?
Quinn C
2019-10-26 01:21:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ross
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Ross
Post by Lazypierrot
I would like to know what "a sign" in the following sentence exactly means.
I wonder if "a sign" means a collection of signs used in a particular sign
language.
Rather, a single sign (equivalent of a word or morpheme) in a sign
language.
Post by Lazypierrot
Although it is physically possible to include leg movements as part of *a sign*,
and although it is physically possible to gesture below the knees, sign language
grammar imposes constraints that keep signers from making such a wide range of
signs.
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language is
also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it differ
from Ameslan
I hear "ASL" regularly, but not "Ameslan".
| ASL was sometimes referred to as "Ameslan", but this term is now
| considered obsolete.
The page lists Quebec Sign Language (QSL) as a dialect of ASL. I didn't
know it's that close.
There's BSL, SASL, AUSLAN, NZSL etc., but maybe you were specifically
interested in names that aren't just initialisms. I guess AUSLAN is an
example.
--
For spirits when they please
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure,
-- Milton, Paradise Lost
New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is not called anything else, as far as
I'm aware. In 2006 it became the country's third official language --
possibly the only sign language to have that status?
It may have been the first, but it has company. Kenya, Papua New
Guinea, South Korea and Spain are examples I've found, and in many
others it has some kind of official status.

<https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/which-countries-recognize-sign-language-as-an-official-language.html>

But I'm a bit surprised by this wording:

| New Zealand Sign Language became the second official language of New
| Zealand in April 2006, joining Māori when the bill was passed in the
| New Zealand Parliament on April 6, 2006
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_recognition_of_sign_languages#New_Zealand>

This seems to imply that English does not have official status. Is
English used by the government only de facto, but not de jure? That
seems unusual. While many countries (e.g. Germany or the U.S.) have no
officially recognized language at all, I'd expect them to name the
dominant one once they want to officially add another one to it.
--
If you kill one person, you go to jail; if you kill 20, you go
to an institution for the insane; if you kill 20,000, you get
political asylum. -- Reed Brody, special counsel
for prosecutions at Human Rights Watch
Ross
2019-10-26 02:49:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quinn C
Post by Ross
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Ross
Post by Lazypierrot
I would like to know what "a sign" in the following sentence exactly means.
I wonder if "a sign" means a collection of signs used in a particular sign
language.
Rather, a single sign (equivalent of a word or morpheme) in a sign
language.
Post by Lazypierrot
Although it is physically possible to include leg movements as part of *a sign*,
and although it is physically possible to gesture below the knees, sign language
grammar imposes constraints that keep signers from making such a wide range of
signs.
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language is
also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it differ
from Ameslan
I hear "ASL" regularly, but not "Ameslan".
| ASL was sometimes referred to as "Ameslan", but this term is now
| considered obsolete.
The page lists Quebec Sign Language (QSL) as a dialect of ASL. I didn't
know it's that close.
There's BSL, SASL, AUSLAN, NZSL etc., but maybe you were specifically
interested in names that aren't just initialisms. I guess AUSLAN is an
example.
--
For spirits when they please
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure,
-- Milton, Paradise Lost
New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is not called anything else, as far as
I'm aware. In 2006 it became the country's third official language --
possibly the only sign language to have that status?
It may have been the first, but it has company. Kenya, Papua New
Guinea, South Korea and Spain are examples I've found, and in many
others it has some kind of official status.
Cool.
Post by Quinn C
<https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/which-countries-recognize-sign-language-as-an-official-language.html>
| New Zealand Sign Language became the second official language of New
| Zealand in April 2006, joining Māori when the bill was passed in the
| New Zealand Parliament on April 6, 2006
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_recognition_of_sign_languages#New_Zealand>
This seems to imply that English does not have official status. Is
English used by the government only de facto, but not de jure? That
seems unusual. While many countries (e.g. Germany or the U.S.) have no
officially recognized language at all, I'd expect them to name the
dominant one once they want to officially add another one to it.
NZ had no official language until 1987, when Maori was officialized.
NZSL followed in 2006. Although it is commonly said nowadays that
there are 3 official languages, it looks as if English has never been
so dignified by Act of Parliament, and it's described carefully as a
"de facto official language".
Peter T. Daniels
2019-10-26 14:51:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ross
Post by Quinn C
Post by Ross
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Ross
Post by Lazypierrot
I would like to know what "a sign" in the following sentence exactly means.
I wonder if "a sign" means a collection of signs used in a particular sign
language.
Rather, a single sign (equivalent of a word or morpheme) in a sign
language.
Post by Lazypierrot
Although it is physically possible to include leg movements as part of *a sign*,
and although it is physically possible to gesture below the knees, sign language
grammar imposes constraints that keep signers from making such a wide range of
signs.
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language is
also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it differ
from Ameslan
I hear "ASL" regularly, but not "Ameslan".
| ASL was sometimes referred to as "Ameslan", but this term is now
| considered obsolete.
The page lists Quebec Sign Language (QSL) as a dialect of ASL. I didn't
know it's that close.
There's BSL, SASL, AUSLAN, NZSL etc., but maybe you were specifically
interested in names that aren't just initialisms. I guess AUSLAN is an
example.
--
For spirits when they please
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure,
-- Milton, Paradise Lost
New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is not called anything else, as far as
I'm aware. In 2006 it became the country's third official language --
possibly the only sign language to have that status?
It may have been the first, but it has company. Kenya, Papua New
Guinea, South Korea and Spain are examples I've found, and in many
others it has some kind of official status.
Cool.
Post by Quinn C
<https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/which-countries-recognize-sign-language-as-an-official-language.html>
| New Zealand Sign Language became the second official language of New
| Zealand in April 2006, joining Māori when the bill was passed in the
| New Zealand Parliament on April 6, 2006
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_recognition_of_sign_languages#New_Zealand>
This seems to imply that English does not have official status. Is
English used by the government only de facto, but not de jure? That
seems unusual. While many countries (e.g. Germany or the U.S.) have no
officially recognized language at all, I'd expect them to name the
dominant one once they want to officially add another one to it.
NZ had no official language until 1987, when Maori was officialized.
NZSL followed in 2006. Although it is commonly said nowadays that
there are 3 official languages, it looks as if English has never been
so dignified by Act of Parliament, and it's described carefully as a
"de facto official language".
Let's hope Trump never finds out that the US has no official language.

Yet somehow there's an English requirement in the citizenship procedure.
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2019-10-27 17:57:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ross
Post by Quinn C
Post by Ross
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Ross
Post by Lazypierrot
I would like to know what "a sign" in the following sentence exactly means.
I wonder if "a sign" means a collection of signs used in a particular sign
language.
Rather, a single sign (equivalent of a word or morpheme) in a sign
language.
Post by Lazypierrot
Although it is physically possible to include leg movements as part of *a sign*,
and although it is physically possible to gesture below the knees, sign language
grammar imposes constraints that keep signers from making such a wide range of
signs.
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language is
also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it differ
from Ameslan
I hear "ASL" regularly, but not "Ameslan".
| ASL was sometimes referred to as "Ameslan", but this term is now
| considered obsolete.
The page lists Quebec Sign Language (QSL) as a dialect of ASL. I didn't
know it's that close.
There's BSL, SASL, AUSLAN, NZSL etc., but maybe you were specifically
interested in names that aren't just initialisms. I guess AUSLAN is an
example.
--
For spirits when they please
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure,
-- Milton, Paradise Lost
New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is not called anything else, as far as
I'm aware. In 2006 it became the country's third official language --
possibly the only sign language to have that status?
It may have been the first, but it has company. Kenya, Papua New
Guinea, South Korea and Spain are examples I've found, and in many
others it has some kind of official status.
Cool.
Post by Quinn C
<https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/which-countries-recognize-sign-language-as-an-official-language.html>
| New Zealand Sign Language became the second official language of New
| Zealand in April 2006, joining M?ori when the bill was passed in the
| New Zealand Parliament on April 6, 2006
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_recognition_of_sign_languages#New_Zealand>
This seems to imply that English does not have official status. Is
English used by the government only de facto, but not de jure? That
seems unusual. While many countries (e.g. Germany or the U.S.) have no
officially recognized language at all, I'd expect them to name the
dominant one once they want to officially add another one to it.
NZ had no official language until 1987, when Maori was officialized.
NZSL followed in 2006. Although it is commonly said nowadays that
there are 3 official languages, it looks as if English has never been
so dignified by Act of Parliament, and it's described carefully as a
"de facto official language".
The CIA Factbook is a useful source of this sort of information.
From the section for People and Society in the New Zealand entry:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/nz.html

English (de facto official) 95.4%, Maori (de jure official) 4%,
Samoan 2.2%, Northern Chinese 2%, Hindi 1.5%, French 1.2%, Yue 1.1%,
New Zealand Sign Language (de jure official) .5%, other or not
stated 17.2% (2018 est.)

The equivalent for the United Kingdom is:

English

note: the following are recognized regional languages: Scots (about
30% of the population of Scotland), Scottish Gaelic (about 60,000
speakers in Scotland), Welsh (about 20% of the population of Wales),
Irish (about 10% of the population of Northern Ireland), Cornish
(some 2,000 to 3,000 people in Cornwall) (2012 est.)
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
Ross
2019-10-27 21:08:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Ross
Post by Quinn C
Post by Ross
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Ross
Post by Lazypierrot
I would like to know what "a sign" in the following sentence exactly means.
I wonder if "a sign" means a collection of signs used in a particular sign
language.
Rather, a single sign (equivalent of a word or morpheme) in a sign
language.
Post by Lazypierrot
Although it is physically possible to include leg movements as part of *a sign*,
and although it is physically possible to gesture below the knees, sign language
grammar imposes constraints that keep signers from making such a wide range of
signs.
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language is
also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it differ
from Ameslan
I hear "ASL" regularly, but not "Ameslan".
| ASL was sometimes referred to as "Ameslan", but this term is now
| considered obsolete.
The page lists Quebec Sign Language (QSL) as a dialect of ASL. I didn't
know it's that close.
There's BSL, SASL, AUSLAN, NZSL etc., but maybe you were specifically
interested in names that aren't just initialisms. I guess AUSLAN is an
example.
--
For spirits when they please
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure,
-- Milton, Paradise Lost
New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is not called anything else, as far as
I'm aware. In 2006 it became the country's third official language --
possibly the only sign language to have that status?
It may have been the first, but it has company. Kenya, Papua New
Guinea, South Korea and Spain are examples I've found, and in many
others it has some kind of official status.
Cool.
Post by Quinn C
<https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/which-countries-recognize-sign-language-as-an-official-language.html>
| New Zealand Sign Language became the second official language of New
| Zealand in April 2006, joining M?ori when the bill was passed in the
| New Zealand Parliament on April 6, 2006
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_recognition_of_sign_languages#New_Zealand>
This seems to imply that English does not have official status. Is
English used by the government only de facto, but not de jure? That
seems unusual. While many countries (e.g. Germany or the U.S.) have no
officially recognized language at all, I'd expect them to name the
dominant one once they want to officially add another one to it.
NZ had no official language until 1987, when Maori was officialized.
NZSL followed in 2006. Although it is commonly said nowadays that
there are 3 official languages, it looks as if English has never been
so dignified by Act of Parliament, and it's described carefully as a
"de facto official language".
The CIA Factbook is a useful source of this sort of information.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/nz.html
English (de facto official) 95.4%, Maori (de jure official) 4%,
Samoan 2.2%, Northern Chinese 2%, Hindi 1.5%, French 1.2%, Yue 1.1%,
New Zealand Sign Language (de jure official) .5%, other or not
stated 17.2% (2018 est.)
Do they explain what these figures refer to? Mother tongue? Able to speak?
Home language? Looks like it might come from a census question. Results
from 2018 will henceforth have to be treated with some caution; they foolishly
attempted to do the whole thing online, with predictably bad results.
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2019-10-28 11:22:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ross
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Ross
Post by Quinn C
Post by Ross
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Ross
Post by Lazypierrot
I would like to know what "a sign" in the following sentence exactly means.
I wonder if "a sign" means a collection of signs used in a particular sign
language.
Rather, a single sign (equivalent of a word or morpheme) in a sign
language.
Post by Lazypierrot
Although it is physically possible to include leg movements as part of *a sign*,
and although it is physically possible to gesture below the knees, sign language
grammar imposes constraints that keep signers from making such a wide range of
signs.
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language is
also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it differ
from Ameslan
I hear "ASL" regularly, but not "Ameslan".
| ASL was sometimes referred to as "Ameslan", but this term is now
| considered obsolete.
The page lists Quebec Sign Language (QSL) as a dialect of ASL. I didn't
know it's that close.
There's BSL, SASL, AUSLAN, NZSL etc., but maybe you were specifically
interested in names that aren't just initialisms. I guess AUSLAN is an
example.
--
For spirits when they please
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure,
-- Milton, Paradise Lost
New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is not called anything else, as far as
I'm aware. In 2006 it became the country's third official language --
possibly the only sign language to have that status?
It may have been the first, but it has company. Kenya, Papua New
Guinea, South Korea and Spain are examples I've found, and in many
others it has some kind of official status.
Cool.
Post by Quinn C
<https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/which-countries-recognize-sign-language-as-an-official-language.html>
| New Zealand Sign Language became the second official language of New
| Zealand in April 2006, joining M?ori when the bill was passed in the
| New Zealand Parliament on April 6, 2006
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_recognition_of_sign_languages#New_Zealand>
This seems to imply that English does not have official status. Is
English used by the government only de facto, but not de jure? That
seems unusual. While many countries (e.g. Germany or the U.S.) have no
officially recognized language at all, I'd expect them to name the
dominant one once they want to officially add another one to it.
NZ had no official language until 1987, when Maori was officialized.
NZSL followed in 2006. Although it is commonly said nowadays that
there are 3 official languages, it looks as if English has never been
so dignified by Act of Parliament, and it's described carefully as a
"de facto official language".
The CIA Factbook is a useful source of this sort of information.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/nz.html
English (de facto official) 95.4%, Maori (de jure official) 4%,
Samoan 2.2%, Northern Chinese 2%, Hindi 1.5%, French 1.2%, Yue 1.1%,
New Zealand Sign Language (de jure official) .5%, other or not
stated 17.2% (2018 est.)
Do they explain what these figures refer to? Mother tongue? Able to speak?
Home language? Looks like it might come from a census question. Results
from 2018 will henceforth have to be treated with some caution; they foolishly
attempted to do the whole thing online, with predictably bad results.
I haven't found any explanation.

It seems likely to me that the information was obtained from an official
source in NZ.
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
Peter Moylan
2019-10-28 13:20:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Ross
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
The CIA Factbook is a useful source of this sort of information.
From the section for People and Society in the New Zealand
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/nz.html
English (de facto official) 95.4%, Maori (de jure official) 4%,
Samoan 2.2%, Northern Chinese 2%, Hindi 1.5%, French 1.2%, Yue
1.1%, New Zealand Sign Language (de jure official) .5%, other or
not stated 17.2% (2018 est.)
Do they explain what these figures refer to? Mother tongue? Able to
speak? Home language? Looks like it might come from a census
question. Results from 2018 will henceforth have to be treated with
some caution; they foolishly attempted to do the whole thing
online, with predictably bad results.
I haven't found any explanation.
It seems likely to me that the information was obtained from an
official source in NZ.
Yes; and it's perfectly normal for different countries to have different
data collection strategies. Anyone planning to do a comparison between
countries has to take that into account.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Ross
2019-10-30 20:51:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Ross
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Ross
Post by Quinn C
Post by Ross
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Ross
Post by Lazypierrot
I would like to know what "a sign" in the following sentence exactly means.
I wonder if "a sign" means a collection of signs used in a particular sign
language.
Rather, a single sign (equivalent of a word or morpheme) in a sign
language.
Post by Lazypierrot
Although it is physically possible to include leg movements as part of *a sign*,
and although it is physically possible to gesture below the knees, sign language
grammar imposes constraints that keep signers from making such a wide range of
signs.
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language is
also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it differ
from Ameslan
I hear "ASL" regularly, but not "Ameslan".
| ASL was sometimes referred to as "Ameslan", but this term is now
| considered obsolete.
The page lists Quebec Sign Language (QSL) as a dialect of ASL. I didn't
know it's that close.
There's BSL, SASL, AUSLAN, NZSL etc., but maybe you were specifically
interested in names that aren't just initialisms. I guess AUSLAN is an
example.
--
For spirits when they please
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure,
-- Milton, Paradise Lost
New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is not called anything else, as far as
I'm aware. In 2006 it became the country's third official language --
possibly the only sign language to have that status?
It may have been the first, but it has company. Kenya, Papua New
Guinea, South Korea and Spain are examples I've found, and in many
others it has some kind of official status.
Cool.
Post by Quinn C
<https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/which-countries-recognize-sign-language-as-an-official-language.html>
| New Zealand Sign Language became the second official language of New
| Zealand in April 2006, joining M?ori when the bill was passed in the
| New Zealand Parliament on April 6, 2006
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_recognition_of_sign_languages#New_Zealand>
This seems to imply that English does not have official status. Is
English used by the government only de facto, but not de jure? That
seems unusual. While many countries (e.g. Germany or the U.S.) have no
officially recognized language at all, I'd expect them to name the
dominant one once they want to officially add another one to it.
NZ had no official language until 1987, when Maori was officialized.
NZSL followed in 2006. Although it is commonly said nowadays that
there are 3 official languages, it looks as if English has never been
so dignified by Act of Parliament, and it's described carefully as a
"de facto official language".
The CIA Factbook is a useful source of this sort of information.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/nz.html
English (de facto official) 95.4%, Maori (de jure official) 4%,
Samoan 2.2%, Northern Chinese 2%, Hindi 1.5%, French 1.2%, Yue 1.1%,
New Zealand Sign Language (de jure official) .5%, other or not
stated 17.2% (2018 est.)
Do they explain what these figures refer to? Mother tongue? Able to speak?
Home language? Looks like it might come from a census question. Results
from 2018 will henceforth have to be treated with some caution; they foolishly
attempted to do the whole thing online, with predictably bad results.
I haven't found any explanation.
It seems likely to me that the information was obtained from an official
source in NZ.
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
The figures look very similar to those in the table here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_New_Zealand#cite_note-SpokenLanguage-1

which come from the 2013 census. So it's a "What languages can you speak?"
type of question -- though I can't find the exact wording.
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2019-10-30 21:47:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ross
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Ross
Post by Quinn C
Post by Ross
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Ross
Post by Lazypierrot
I would like to know what "a sign" in the following sentence exactly means.
I wonder if "a sign" means a collection of signs used in a particular sign
language.
Rather, a single sign (equivalent of a word or morpheme) in a sign
language.
Post by Lazypierrot
Although it is physically possible to include leg movements as part of *a sign*,
and although it is physically possible to gesture below the knees, sign language
grammar imposes constraints that keep signers from making such a wide range of
signs.
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language is
also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it differ
from Ameslan
I hear "ASL" regularly, but not "Ameslan".
| ASL was sometimes referred to as "Ameslan", but this term is now
| considered obsolete.
The page lists Quebec Sign Language (QSL) as a dialect of ASL. I didn't
know it's that close.
There's BSL, SASL, AUSLAN, NZSL etc., but maybe you were specifically
interested in names that aren't just initialisms. I guess AUSLAN is an
example.
--
For spirits when they please
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure,
-- Milton, Paradise Lost
New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is not called anything else, as far as
I'm aware. In 2006 it became the country's third official language --
possibly the only sign language to have that status?
It may have been the first, but it has company. Kenya, Papua New
Guinea, South Korea and Spain are examples I've found, and in many
others it has some kind of official status.
Cool.
Post by Quinn C
<https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/which-countries-recognize-sign-language-as-an-official-language.html>
| New Zealand Sign Language became the second official language of New
| Zealand in April 2006, joining M?ori when the bill was passed in the
| New Zealand Parliament on April 6, 2006
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_recognition_of_sign_languages#New_Zealand>
This seems to imply that English does not have official status. Is
English used by the government only de facto, but not de jure? That
seems unusual. While many countries (e.g. Germany or the U.S.) have no
officially recognized language at all, I'd expect them to name the
dominant one once they want to officially add another one to it.
NZ had no official language until 1987, when Maori was officialized.
NZSL followed in 2006. Although it is commonly said nowadays that
there are 3 official languages, it looks as if English has never been
so dignified by Act of Parliament, and it's described carefully as a
"de facto official language".
The CIA Factbook is a useful source of this sort of information.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/nz.html
English (de facto official) 95.4%, Maori (de jure official) 4%,
Samoan 2.2%, Northern Chinese 2%, Hindi 1.5%, French 1.2%, Yue 1.1%,
New Zealand Sign Language (de jure official) .5%, other or not
stated 17.2% (2018 est.)
I'm guessing that in "2018 est." "est." means "estimated".
Post by Ross
Do they explain what these figures refer to? Mother tongue? Able to speak?
Home language? Looks like it might come from a census question. Results
from 2018 will henceforth have to be treated with some caution; they foolishly
attempted to do the whole thing online, with predictably bad results.
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
Peter T. Daniels
2019-10-31 13:35:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Ross
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Ross
NZ had no official language until 1987, when Maori was officialized.
NZSL followed in 2006. Although it is commonly said nowadays that
there are 3 official languages, it looks as if English has never been
so dignified by Act of Parliament, and it's described carefully as a
"de facto official language".
The CIA Factbook is a useful source of this sort of information.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/nz.html
English (de facto official) 95.4%, Maori (de jure official) 4%,
Samoan 2.2%, Northern Chinese 2%, Hindi 1.5%, French 1.2%, Yue 1.1%,
New Zealand Sign Language (de jure official) .5%, other or not
stated 17.2% (2018 est.)
I'm guessing that in "2018 est." "est." means "estimated".
When the US Census Bureau issues "ests." between the results of the
Constitutionally mandated Decennial Census, they're based on extensive
surveys and reliable statistical methods; such surveys can ask all sorts
of things that won't fit into a practical instrument that is filled out
by every household in the country. Hopefully NZ does no worse!
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Ross
Do they explain what these figures refer to? Mother tongue? Able to speak?
Home language? Looks like it might come from a census question. Results
from 2018 will henceforth have to be treated with some caution; they foolishly
attempted to do the whole thing online, with predictably bad results.
Peter Moylan
2019-10-26 00:59:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language
is also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it
differ from Ameslan
The Australian one is called Auslan, which always makes me think of C S
Lewis.

It's always seemed silly to me to have different sign languages in
different countries. It would make so much more sense to have an
international sign language. If there are good reasons why that can't be
done - and perhaps there are - then at least we should try to unify the
sign languages of English-speaking countries.

When my son was studying linguistics at university, a huge part of the
second year was taken up with a study of Auslan. I suspect that it was
that that convinced him to give up on linguistics and switch to a
politics major.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Ross
2019-10-26 03:00:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language
is also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it
differ from Ameslan
The Australian one is called Auslan, which always makes me think of C S
Lewis.
It's always seemed silly to me to have different sign languages in
different countries. It would make so much more sense to have an
international sign language. If there are good reasons why that can't be
done - and perhaps there are - then at least we should try to unify the
sign languages of English-speaking countries.
The silliness, the lack of sense, and the good reasons are all the same
(mutatis mutandis) as for the fact that we have different spoken languages
in different countries, different dialects of English, etc.: it wasn't all
planned and organized by a committee.

With greater international contacts among deaf people, I would expect some
levelling to take place among sign languages that are already in
a dialectal relation to each other, say NZ and British, or perhaps
American and French. But not when they are quite unrelated.
Post by Peter Moylan
When my son was studying linguistics at university, a huge part of the
second year was taken up with a study of Auslan. I suspect that it was
that that convinced him to give up on linguistics and switch to a
politics major.
That's pretty unusual. Where was he studying? He probably had a teacher
who was involved with it, little suspecting that it would turn some of
his students off.
Peter Moylan
2019-10-26 03:12:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ross
Post by Peter Moylan
When my son was studying linguistics at university, a huge part of
the second year was taken up with a study of Auslan. I suspect that
it was that that convinced him to give up on linguistics and switch
to a politics major.
That's pretty unusual. Where was he studying? He probably had a
teacher who was involved with it, little suspecting that it would
turn some of his students off.
University of Newcastle, NSW. I believe the Linguistics department used
to be pretty good, but when I look at the names of present staff they've
all changed, and I have no way of judging their reputation.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Ross
2019-10-26 06:55:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ross
Post by Peter Moylan
When my son was studying linguistics at university, a huge part of
the second year was taken up with a study of Auslan. I suspect that
it was that that convinced him to give up on linguistics and switch
to a politics major.
That's pretty unusual. Where was he studying? He probably had a
teacher who was involved with it, little suspecting that it would
turn some of his students off.
University of Newcastle, NSW. I believe the Linguistics department used
to be pretty good, but when I look at the names of present staff they've
all changed, and I have no way of judging their reputation.
I think it's still pretty good. I know some of them, as there is a bit
of a focus on Oceanic languages. I don't see anybody currently who's
into sign language.
s***@gmail.com
2019-10-26 07:00:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ross
Post by Peter Moylan
It's always seemed silly to me to have different sign languages in
different countries. It would make so much more sense to have an
international sign language. If there are good reasons why that can't be
done - and perhaps there are - then at least we should try to unify the
sign languages of English-speaking countries.
The silliness, the lack of sense, and the good reasons are all the same
(mutatis mutandis) as for the fact that we have different spoken languages
in different countries, different dialects of English, etc.: it wasn't all
planned and organized by a committee.
With greater international contacts among deaf people, I would expect some
levelling to take place among sign languages that are already in
a dialectal relation to each other, say NZ and British, or perhaps
American and French. But not when they are quite unrelated.
In Central America, and my grey cells are clinging to "Guatemala" as the particular,
there was a band of deaf street-urchins [hyphen inserted for the weak]
who developed their own sign language on a very ad hoc basis.
When linguists noticed this, they found that GDSUSL had developed a grammar
that was consistent with some spoken grammars.

I may have been told of this by someone studying ASL as an interpreter,
or I might have learned of it here.
Take that as my references,
but no doubt Peter and Ross have more to go on.

(And the ASL connection to FSL is in part because the French developer
got frustrated in his own country, found US more receptive,
and established things à gauche de mer.
Same sources, but also in Whiskey Peetia.)

/dps
Ross
2019-10-26 10:15:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Ross
Post by Peter Moylan
It's always seemed silly to me to have different sign languages in
different countries. It would make so much more sense to have an
international sign language. If there are good reasons why that can't be
done - and perhaps there are - then at least we should try to unify the
sign languages of English-speaking countries.
The silliness, the lack of sense, and the good reasons are all the same
(mutatis mutandis) as for the fact that we have different spoken languages
in different countries, different dialects of English, etc.: it wasn't all
planned and organized by a committee.
With greater international contacts among deaf people, I would expect some
levelling to take place among sign languages that are already in
a dialectal relation to each other, say NZ and British, or perhaps
American and French. But not when they are quite unrelated.
In Central America, and my grey cells are clinging to "Guatemala" as the particular,
there was a band of deaf street-urchins [hyphen inserted for the weak]
who developed their own sign language on a very ad hoc basis.
When linguists noticed this, they found that GDSUSL had developed a grammar
that was consistent with some spoken grammars.
I may have been told of this by someone studying ASL as an interpreter,
or I might have learned of it here.
Take that as my references,
but no doubt Peter and Ross have more to go on.
(And the ASL connection to FSL is in part because the French developer
got frustrated in his own country, found US more receptive,
and established things à gauche de mer.
Same sources, but also in Whiskey Peetia.)
/dps
Nicaragua, actually. See Wiki for some of the history of this language
and the theoretical morals linguists have attempted to draw from it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicaraguan_Sign_Language
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2019-10-26 10:25:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ross
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Ross
Post by Peter Moylan
It's always seemed silly to me to have different sign languages in
different countries. It would make so much more sense to have an
international sign language. If there are good reasons why that can't be
done - and perhaps there are - then at least we should try to unify the
sign languages of English-speaking countries.
The silliness, the lack of sense, and the good reasons are all the same
(mutatis mutandis) as for the fact that we have different spoken languages
in different countries, different dialects of English, etc.: it wasn't all
planned and organized by a committee.> >> > With greater international
contacts among deaf people, I would expect some
levelling to take place among sign languages that are already in> > a
dialectal relation to each other, say NZ and British, or perhaps
American and French. But not when they are quite unrelated.
In Central America, and my grey cells are clinging to "Guatemala" as the particular,
there was a band of deaf street-urchins [hyphen inserted for the weak]
who developed their own sign language on a very ad hoc basis.
When linguists noticed this, they found that GDSUSL had developed a grammar
that was consistent with some spoken grammars.
I may have been told of this by someone studying ASL as an interpreter,
or I might have learned of it here.
Take that as my references,
but no doubt Peter and Ross have more to go on.
(And the ASL connection to FSL is in part because the French developer
got frustrated in his own country, found US more receptive,
and established things à gauche de mer.
Same sources, but also in Whiskey Peetia.)
/dps
Nicaragua, actually. See Wiki for some of the history of this language
and the theoretical morals linguists have attempted to draw from it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicaraguan_Sign_Language
The story of Nicaraguan Sign Language is fascinating, and the
wikiparticle is well worth reading.
--
athel
Peter T. Daniels
2019-10-26 14:56:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Ross
Post by s***@gmail.com
In Central America, and my grey cells are clinging to "Guatemala" as the particular,
there was a band of deaf street-urchins [hyphen inserted for the weak]
who developed their own sign language on a very ad hoc basis.
When linguists noticed this, they found that GDSUSL had developed a grammar
that was consistent with some spoken grammars.
I may have been told of this by someone studying ASL as an interpreter,
or I might have learned of it here.
Take that as my references,
but no doubt Peter and Ross have more to go on.
(And the ASL connection to FSL is in part because the French developer
got frustrated in his own country, found US more receptive,
and established things à gauche de mer.
Same sources, but also in Whiskey Peetia.)
Nicaragua, actually. See Wiki for some of the history of this language
and the theoretical morals linguists have attempted to draw from it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicaraguan_Sign_Language
The story of Nicaraguan Sign Language is fascinating, and the
wikiparticle is well worth reading.
Not street urchins, though, but deaf children whose families had devised
what is called "home sign" systems; and then a central School for the Deaf
was made available, and the dozens of "home sign" systems coalesced into
a language -- considered to be the same sort of thing as pidginization
leading to creolization, a well-studied phenomenon of language contact.
The kids have been studied as they, and the language, grew, and followed
up as they moved away.
Tak To
2019-10-30 19:02:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Ross
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Ross
Post by Peter Moylan
It's always seemed silly to me to have different sign languages in
different countries. It would make so much more sense to have an
international sign language. If there are good reasons why that can't be
done - and perhaps there are - then at least we should try to unify the
sign languages of English-speaking countries.
The silliness, the lack of sense, and the good reasons are all the same
(mutatis mutandis) as for the fact that we have different spoken languages
in different countries, different dialects of English, etc.: it wasn't all
planned and organized by a committee.> >> > With greater international
contacts among deaf people, I would expect some
levelling to take place among sign languages that are already in> > a
dialectal relation to each other, say NZ and British, or perhaps
American and French. But not when they are quite unrelated.
In Central America, and my grey cells are clinging to "Guatemala" as the particular,
there was a band of deaf street-urchins [hyphen inserted for the weak]
who developed their own sign language on a very ad hoc basis.
When linguists noticed this, they found that GDSUSL had developed a grammar
that was consistent with some spoken grammars.
I may have been told of this by someone studying ASL as an interpreter,
or I might have learned of it here.
Take that as my references,
but no doubt Peter and Ross have more to go on.
(And the ASL connection to FSL is in part because the French developer
got frustrated in his own country, found US more receptive,
and established things à gauche de mer.
Same sources, but also in Whiskey Peetia.)
/dps
Nicaragua, actually. See Wiki for some of the history of this language
and the theoretical morals linguists have attempted to draw from it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicaraguan_Sign_Language
The story of Nicaraguan Sign Language is fascinating, and the
wikiparticle is well worth reading.
The discovery of the new sign language was a rather big thing
for some. There was even a NYT Sunday Magazine article titled
"A Linguistic Big Bang" back in 1999.

https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/library/magazine/home/19991024mag-sign-language.html

I was happy to find out that the main researcher was Judy Kegl,
someone that I have come across when she was a graduate student.
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
Peter T. Daniels
2019-10-26 14:50:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language
is also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it
differ from Ameslan
The Australian one is called Auslan, which always makes me think of C S
Lewis.
It's always seemed silly to me to have different sign languages in
different countries. It would make so much more sense to have an
international sign language. If there are good reasons why that can't be
done - and perhaps there are - then at least we should try to unify the
sign languages of English-speaking countries.
Is it equally silly to have different oral languages in different
countries? No matter, within one generation the signed languages of
communities that don't regularly intercommunicate will have begun
to diverge and eventually differentiate into mutual incomprehensibility.
Post by Peter Moylan
When my son was studying linguistics at university, a huge part of the
second year was taken up with a study of Auslan. I suspect that it was
that that convinced him to give up on linguistics and switch to a
politics major.
That's odd. Over Here, the gestural mode is simply listed among the other
modes, namely oral. ASL can be studied in some places as a foreign language
and probably always will be counted in a linguistic degree's "uncommon"
language requirement.

It wasn't so in my day; my first exposure to Sign as a linguistics topic
was at the 1976 Summer Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, where
it was one of the featured topics and there were several lectures about it.
(Presumably it was also taught as a language during the Linguistic
Institute -- there's no longer a Summer Meeting of the LSA, but the LI
is still held, at a different campus every time, though biennially instead
of annually.

Your son probably happened to light on an instructor whose special field
that was (just as Jim Gair's Phonology class took lots of examples from
Sinhala, and Fred Agard's Morphology class took lots of examples from
Papiamentu).
Ken Blake
2019-10-26 15:03:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
Speaking of sign language, in the US, it's called Ameslan (an
abbreviation of American Sign Language). Assuming that sign language
is also used in other countries, what is called there, and does it
differ from Ameslan
The Australian one is called Auslan, which always makes me think of C S
Lewis.
It's always seemed silly to me to have different sign languages in
different countries. It would make so much more sense to have an
international sign language.
Yes, but you could say exactly the same thing about having an
international spoken/written language. There have been several attempts
at that, but none of them have caught on.
--
Ken
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