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In case some one has some doubts.
Point 1: Signed Languages are not IAL.
Point 2: Signed Languages are not universal.
Point 3: Signed Languages are complete languages.
 
As longer as I've been on this list, discussions are centered in European
ConAILs (Esperanto, Ido, Occidental, Interlingua, etc.) and as longer as I
know, different languages has different pretension ranking from full AIL,
learned as second and first languages by every person in the world into
special porpuse languages for communicate in some specific areas or just
ideas of how an AIL should be.
 
I've been involved with Signed Languages used by Deaf communities and people
to communicate with each other.  As shown in the Nicaraguan case, signing is
a natural way of communicate (even in listen-capable people) and grammatical
capability is somehow wired in our brains the way a person can develop its
own grammar when a child.  It seams children develop their own grammar and
inmertion in  their environmental language is corrective.  Creoles seems to
show some of that natural programming so the suggestion of using a Creole
grammar with the vocabulary extracted from an existing auxlang like
Occidental, Interlingua or Glossa, is a good one.
 
Signed languages have a feature difficult to find in talked or written
languages (I would say English is a talked language with a written form and
Interlingua is a written language one can talk): use of spatial
relationships which are more clear than the use of prepositions or case
markers in a talked/written language.  These spatial relationships help
showing grammatical relationships of verbs and concepts.
 
Some lesson of the Colombian Signed Language could help describe this:
 
> Phrase structure is OSV and the temporal and spatial ubication comes
first.
>
> Verbs are classified as flat or simple verbs (usually those with one
person
> involved) like to think, to sleep, to eat, and flexional verbs.
> Flexional verbs are verbs with classificators (don't know the English
word),
> where hand shape differs by the object(s) or subject, and specially
located
> verbs.
>
> CoSL, as most Signed Languages, is very spatial.  Present people is
pointed
> when referring to them.  Non present people is introduced and a located in
an
> imaginary place near the signer (usually beside the signer), as well as
non
> present things, so the signer could later point those places for referring
> to those people or things.
>
> This spatial context is preserve as longer the signer is telling about
those
> people an things.  Then the spatial context is discharged with a special
> sign and a new one is introduced.  Thus the first thing the signer (Deaf
or
> interpreter) does is marking the temporal and spatial ubication, introduce
> the actors (object first, then subject) and sign the verb.
>
> Flat verbs are those which does not change after the subject or the
object,
> thus:
> I sleep: {point me} {sleep}
> you sleep: (point you} {sleep}
> he (present) sleeps: {point him} {sleep}
> Peter (not present) sleeps: {sign Peter beside} {sleep}
> I ate pizza yesterday: {yesterday} {pizza} {eat}
> you ate pizza yesterday: {yesterday} {pizza} {point you} {ate}
> he ate pizza y.: {y.} {p.} {point him} {ate}
> Peter ate pizza y.: {y.} {p.} {point beside (Peter was already
introduced)}
> {ate}
>
> Verbs with classificators are much like flat verbs but hand shape varies
> after subject or object.  Some verbs with classificators can even be
consider
> different verbs; i.e.:
> There is a verb for to cut (used in signed Spanish) which resembles
someone
> cutting something with some scissors, infront of the signer.
> When using CoSL, if you cut a sheet of paper with some scissors, the sign
is
> the same but if you where using a cutter the sign is different, so is if
you
> cut your hair with the scissors.
>
> Spacially located verbs, usually those involving to persons as Object
> (direct or indirect) ans Subject, when action goes from subject to object:
> to offend, to teach, to give sthg, to lend sthg, etc. use movement to
> indicate who the subject and who the object are.
> I tought you Math: {math} {teach from me to you}
> I tought him Math: {math} {teach from me to him}
> He tought Peter Math: {math} {teach from him to beside (where Peter was
> already imaginary located)}
> Peter tought Sara Math: {math} {teach from right side (where Peter is) to
> left side} {sign Sara at left side}
> (observe that some times indirect object is signed after the verb).
> John tought Mary Math: {discard workspace} {math} {sign John at right
side}
> {teach from right to left} {sign Mary at left side}
>
I think some discution can be drawn in a way of implementing an
International Auxiliary Signed Language (IASL) not only for Deaf people.
 
Some backdraws, IMO: people must look to the speaker/signer, there is not
easy hardcopy way of recording that language (a written form)... a talked
form is not needed.
 
Of course, one experiment would be develope a full language with written,
talked and signed forms.
 
Some ideas?
 
_____
  Carlos Eugenio Thompson PinzC3n
  http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Rue/9028/
 
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