This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Uses Of Fingerspelling And American Sign Language

1438 words - 6 pages

American Sign Language is the visual language that has been created by the deaf in this country. For those with a limited knowledge of deaf culture or American Sign Language (ASL), fingerspelling may be a foreign concept. Fingerspelling is the act of using the manual alphabet of ASL to spell a word or phrase. All fingerspelling is done with the dominant hand, as are one-handed signs, and is ideally done in the area between the shoulder and the chin on the same side as the dominant hand. This skill serves many purposes and functions in ASL conversation. Some of these purposes include proper nouns, words lacking a sign, emphasis, and when the person does not know a sign. Learning how to fingerspell and understanding its usage is a necessary lesson for any who would like to learn ASL. At first, the speed of fingerspelling shown by more experienced signers and the deaf can seem overwhelming, but practice and experience will aid in the development of skills.
ASL focuses on two main types of skills, receptive and expressive. Receptive skills are a person’s ability to comprehend what is being signed. Expressive skills are demonstrated by a particular person using the signs and concepts that have been learned. Sign Language is best learned in an immersive environment where people are given the complete, voiceless experience. An example of this immersion would be a silent weekend, which is a gathering of ASL users and learners to engage in several days of workshops and presentations. These weekends can be particularly for interpreters in training, or can be open to students and the public as well. The benefit of an silent weekend is the way participants do not voice. Speaking without signing is considered very rude in the presence of a deaf individual. Events like this teach the participants about both the language and the culture. The lack of verbal communication makes the individual’s brain more receptive to the language being acquired, because the person is less likely to fall back on their native language.
One use of fingerspelling is in the discussion of proper nouns. In deaf culture, the first question a person in a Sign Language environment will typically be asked is their name. An exception to fingerspelling a name would occur when an individual has a name sign. Name signs can only be given by a member of the deaf community and often have a reason. A name sign can only be used if the people communicating have already met the person to whom that name sign belongs. For example, it would be confusing, upon meeting someone for the first time, to only give a nickname because the acquaintance might not understand the reasoning behind the nickname. Not only are names commonly fingerspelled, so are other kinds of proper nouns, such as cities. Some regions have signs established for surrounding cities, but these are not known nationally. ASL has regional differences very similar to dialect differences in English. A well known sign...

Find Another Essay On Uses of Fingerspelling and American Sign Language

Native American Sign Language Essay

1423 words - 6 pages Native American Sign Language Very basic, elementary and logical characteristics made the Native American Sign Language the world's most easily learned language. It was America's first and only universal language. The necessity for intercommunication between Indian tribes having different vocal speech developed gesture speech or sign language (Clark; pg. 11). Although there is no record or era dating the use of sign language, American

Is American Sign Language a ‘foreign’ language?

1082 words - 5 pages Language can be considered a foreign language are, American Sign Language is no less a foreign language than Navajo, which is also indigenous to the United States. One huge step towards the thought of American Sign Language being considered a foreign language is that the whole idea of language being foreign is disappearing. I believe that American Sign Language is a foreign language and should be accepted in more states and more schools around the

The Cognitive Imperative of American Sign Languafe

1015 words - 5 pages The Cognitive Imperative of American Sign Language As a cultural group, Deaf Americans present a thriving and distinct example of language in action. Many of the traditions of Deaf culture—including storytelling, word games, etc.—are celebrations of American Sign Language (ASL). But contemporary Deaf Americans face myriad issues, including the preservation of sign language as it relates to the child’s upbringing and education in particular

The Effect of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Sign Language Interpreters

909 words - 4 pages American Sign Language Interpreter is a job that is currently in very high demand. In the deaf community there is a serious shortage of interpreters. According to the federal emergency management agency a sign language interpreter is, “A person who has been trained to use a system of conventional symbols or gestures made with the hands and body to help people who are deaf, are hard-of-hearing, or have speech impairments communicate.” An

The Difference Between Univeralism and Relativism with Sign Language

791 words - 4 pages In our discussion of cochlear implants that, in my mind, seemed at times distastefully eugenicist, I found myself grappling with some difficult questions: How different would my experience of the world be if I communicated via American Sign Language instead of English? Does the existence of sign language benefit the world in some meaningful way? Just what, if anything, would be lost if the world lost sign language? In trying to answer these

How Charlotte Bronte Uses Language Detail and Setting In The First Two Chapters Of Jane Eyre

2476 words - 10 pages How Charlotte Bronte Uses Language Detail and Setting In The First Two Chapters Of Jane Eyre "Jane Eyre" is a novel written by Charlotte Brontë in the 19th century. Throughout the novel Brontë incorporates elements of her own personal life. A prime example of this is the inequalities between men and women. When she wrote this novel she had to use a male nom de plume so she could sell the book it was only after the novel

SOME FEATURES AND USES OF MODAL VERBS IN SHAKESPEARE'S LANGUAGE ACCORDING KAKIETEK

1040 words - 4 pages Kakietek's study is the first attempt to provide a systematic and exhaustive description of the modal verbs in the language of Shakespeare. "He points out that the existing literature on the subject is appallingly poor and does not actually present any real value from the linguistic points of view" (P.Kakietek, 'Modal Verbs in Shakespeare's English Poznam, 1972, pag.3).The publication he lists contains nearly all the currently available

The Challenge of a Computer Representation of Sign Language: Capturing a “Visual-Spatial” Language Electronically

1598 words - 6 pages The Challenge of a Computer Representation of Sign Language: Capturing a “Visual-Spatial” Language Electronically Signed languages are not simply another means of communicating a spoken language. Individual signed languages are linguistically unique forms of communication, with their own grammatical constructs, word order, sensibility, and rules. American Sign Language, used in the United States and parts of Canada, is not the same as

Language Edgar Allan Poe uses to Create Atmosphere and Suspense

920 words - 4 pages Show how Edgar Allan Poe uses language to create atmosphere and describe the state of mind of the murderer. Consider how the modern reader might respond to this story. In this essay I will discuss the which language techniques Poe uses to create atmosphere and suspence. I will also show how he allows us to get into the mind of the murder and how he conveys his state of mind. ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ is the story of a man who decides to

Teaching British Sign Language to Improve the Lives of Children with Mental Disabilities

1380 words - 6 pages There have been countless ways in which doctors and teachers have tried to improve the lives of children with mental disabilities. A number of methods and lessons have been created to hopefully help these children. Though not all have been successful, there were some that stood out from the rest. One, specifically, was the teaching of British Sign Language. Teaching British Sign Language to mentally disabled children helped not only their

Uses and Effects of Heroine

1136 words - 5 pages Heroin is a powerful and dangerous drug that can alter both your brain and vital organs, which can influence our mental health and our human behavior. It’s the second largest death producing drug besides cocaine, it affects over 650,000 addicts in the United States alone.The creation of Heroin starts from a Asian poppy plant, specifically, Papaver Somniferum. The latex that immature pods secrete when cut are created into morphine, which is then

Similar Essays

Sign Language In Development: History Of American Sign Language Based On The Article "Arbitrariness And Iconicity: Historical Change In American Sign Language" By Nancy Frishberg

2556 words - 10 pages means that the signs, which are simultaneously realised, look like each other and carry the same meaning as well. She argues that these signs too get a more arbitrary appearance rather than an iconic one. Because there is no material of when and where sign language began, Frishberg uses the Old French Sign Language (OFSL) since the American Sign Languages derives from this.After studying the facts and sources Frishberg concludes that the changes

The Development Of American Sign Language

3160 words - 13 pages , including education and career opportunities; open communication and visual learning; deaf history and culture; American Sign Language...” (“History of Gallaudet,” 2013). American Sign Language or ASL is originally thought of as an alternative means of communication for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but its uses are much greater. People who have deficits or disorders that prohibit them from using their voice to communicate or who have

American Sign Language Essay

1811 words - 7 pages language is primarily taught universally among deaf people. Finger spelling uses different hand formations to represent letters of the alphabet. It is the most common way of communicating, which involves spelling out written words. Fingerspelling to the deaf community is like learning to say and write the alphabet for those that are not deaf. It can be generally used along with sign language to spell out names, places, and things that are

American Sign Language Essay

725 words - 3 pages Sign language is perhaps one of the most complex and interesting languages out there. Sign language is not a universal language. There is Mexican Sign Language, British Sign Language, Italian Sign Language, and many, many more. In fact, there are approximately three hundred sign languages throughout the world. Each is unique to its location. For example, the sign language used in America is known as American Sign Language. American Sign Language