sign language Essay

836 Words Mar 28th, 2014 4 Pages
Sign Language

1 [The speaker begins by using Signed English to express the words, “You are my friend.”] Do you know what I just told you? The message I communicated probably escaped most of you. Communication through hand motions is something we do all the time without even thinking about it. For most of us, it’s a supplement to spoken language. But for many deaf and hearing-impaired people, sign language isn’t just a supplement, it’s a primary mode of communication.
2 I’m not an expert in sign language, but I’ve been interested in it for several years. My father is the treasurer for a group of deaf and hearing-impaired people, and I’ve attended some functions with that group. At those times, I had a chance to learn bits and
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6 Some people think that sign language is a primitive substitute for spoken language, but in fact sign language is just as rich and expressive as spoken language. For example, Karen Nakamura states in the online Deaf Resources Library that American Sign Language “should not be considered in any way to be a broken, mimed, or gestural form of English.” According to Nakamura, ASL is a complex, full, and natural language in its own right, with “its own beautiful grammar.”
7 Keeping these points in mind about sign language, let’s return to the sentence I started with and see if we can learn the signs for “You are my friend.” [At this point, the speaker begins her demonstration of how to sign, “You are my friend.” Each of the signs she discusses in paragraphs 7–13 is accompanied by a demonstration that explains the steps in making the sign.]
8 First, make the sign for “you” with your right hand. Extend your index finger and point at a classmate.
9 The word “are” is interesting because it starts with the letter “R.” To make the sign for the letter “R,” extend your index finger and wrap your next finger around it. This is the sign for the letter “R.” Now we’re going to make the word “are.” Just put your fingertips under your chin and arc outward.
10 “My” is easy. It’s just an open right hand. Put your palm inward on your chest.
11 “Friend” is a little trickier. It takes both hands. Extend your

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