>From: jogloran <[log in to unmask]>
>Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 10:26:50 -0000
>Hmm, I'm not too familiar with asian sign languages; how do they work
>in comparison to others?

Well, you sorta move your hands around and make faces and point at stuff.

*ducks LOLTHHFO*

*serious face*

Well, the only Asian SL I can say anything about the grammar and phonology
of is Taiwan Sign Language.

Grammatically it's pretty similar to ASL.  It seems to be topic-focus which
means its alot closer to Chinese than ASL is to English.  It makes use of
placement like ASL but to a lesser degree it seems.  Facial expression is
improtant, but doesn't seem to covey quite as much meaning as in ASL and I
haven't found any minimal pairs distinguished by facial expression yet.

It has lots of loan characters just as ASL has fingerspellings and loan
signs.  It doesn't seem to have a standard differentiation between nouns and
verbs like ASL does (eg. Y-hand against the jaw = call, tap it against the
jaw twice = telephone).

There are plenty of different handshapes -- the extended middle finger, the
WC-hand, cross-hand, airplane-hand, etc.  The ASL E-hand doesn't seem tobe
used, neither does the closed-A, nor the I-love-you-hand (actually, I think
I *have* seen it as a variation of "airplane").

It's not easy to discribe without visual contact.  But I'd be glad to try to
answer specific questions.


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