communication as BSL and ASL use completely different manual alphabets BSL uses

Communication as bsl and asl use completely different

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communication as BSL and ASL use completely different manual alphabets (BSL uses a two-handed alphabet while ASL uses a single-handed one). An ASL user would instead be more likely to recognize some aspects of French Sign Language (LSF) due to the par- ticular historical circumstances that brought a French Deaf man and his language to the United States to help establish American deaf education. 98 Though not the case in America, sign language migration often follows colonial rule. Australian Sign Language (Auslan) and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), for example, have both evolved from the original importation of BSL. However, in other instances, sign languages from developed countries, such as ASL, are often imported through missionaries, educators, and development projects rather than through politi- cal rule. This explains why sign languages in the Philippines, Costa Rica, Thailand, and Nigeria are deeply influenced by American Sign Language, although there has been no overt American government installed in these countries. 99 The importation of ASL at the expense of local sign languages creates confl icts in countries that are all too familiar with linguistic colonialism. In the Western African nations of Burkina Faso and Benin, hearing educators insist on using ASL signs while mouthing French words. Not only does this make for a dubious language-learning practice for students, it is a dramatic example of the ways that neocolonialism and global power continue to discipline the bodies and minds of a nation’s youth. The growing dominance of ASL, though, is being countered with movements to rec- ognize and encourage the growth of local sign languages. 100 We cannot be precisely sure how many local and national sign languages exist in the world. In Thailand and Viet Nam alone there are at least seven different sign languages, each developing for histori- cally and geographically specific reasons. 101 Iranian Deaf use the Tea House Sign Lan- guage and Persian Sign Language, 102 and Canada has both American Sign Language and Quebecois Sign Language (LSQ). A map of all the sign languages in the world would most likely have to also include sign languages and sign communication systems of in- digenous people. The Australian Aboriginal Sign Language has over thirteen different dialects, while North America has been home to various incarnations of manual lan- guages and communication systems as well. 103 <i>Open Your Eyes : Deaf Studies Talking</i>, edited by H-Dirksen L. Bauman, University of Minnesota Press, 2007. ProQuest Ebook Central, . Created from washington on 2019-09-21 14:41:03. Copyright © 2007. University of Minnesota Press. All rights reserved.
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17 I N T R O D U C T I O N It should now be clear: sign languages do not form a single, reductive brand of Es- peranto. This point needs to be made explicit, for even language experts such as those who edit the Modern Language Association Bibliography categorized sign languages as “Invented Languages” next to Klingon and Esperanto as recently as 1996. While the MLA
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