--- "Ph.D." <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Chris Peters wrote:
> >
> > But I don't believe it's exactly that kind of a
> binary question. 
> > For the sake of counterargument, I'd point to two
> languages 
> > that started out as pure conlangs -- Esperanto and
> ASL -- 
> > but which I'd argue have crossed that border into
> becoming 
> > true natlangs.  After all, both languages are in
> relatively wide 
> > use today, by societies of speakers who have no
> direct 
> > association with Zamenhof or Gallaudet. 
> I guess I'd have to define a natlang as one which
> has native L1 
> speakers who pass it on as L1 to their offspring,
> who then pass
> it on in turn to their offspring, etc.  I know there
> are a few native 
> speakers of Esperanto (some years ago there was a
> woman 
> living here in Michigan who was a native speaker),
> but they
> all grew up in homes where the parents learned
> Esperanto as
> an L2. I don't know of any situations where the
> language is 
> continually handed down as an L1. So by this
> definition, 
> Esperanto is still a conlang. I don't know much
> about ASL, but 
> I assume it's in a similar state.

WHAT?!?!?  ASL ws never a conlang as I'd define it. 
ASL started life as a pidgin.  It was formed when
speakers of various homebrewed American signed
languages (usually spoken by only one family to
communicate with their Deaf offspring and varrying
greatly in sophistication), Martha's Vinyard Sign
Language and perhaps other influences came together
under the influence of Gaulladett and his crew who had
laerned French Sign Language and produced the
beginnings of today's ASL.  It was never consciously

ASL IS passed directly form parent to child when the
parents are Deaf users of ASL.  If those children
happen to be Deaf as well the chain continues.  There
are a good number of hearing people who learned ASL as
their L1 from DEAF parents (CODA's) whothen go on to
learn English as an L2 (often near simultaneously). 
For Deaf children ASL is usually their L1 (few learn
lip reading/speach without the aid of their natural
language), but it may be learned from L2 speakers
under some circumstances.


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Machu 1:22-23