Noberto "Bert" Garcia

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Etymology of ASL

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        Wow this workshop had to be the most expensive one I have attended , a whopping $50!!! But it was definetly the one I was excited about the most. Looking through my e-Portfolio you may run across my adventures of learning ASL and also Mexican Sign Language (LSM). What a lot of people dont know if that sign language is NOT a universal language.  Sign language changes from country to country and can vastly differ in region as well. I had the opportunity to attend this workshop to better understand where our Sign Language comes from and why we sign the way we do. The presenter,who was deaf, really emphazied the origin of ASL being French. Many times in ASL signs are "intialized" meaning they use the intial of the sign gloss or English word equivalent. The presenter brought up many examples about how the signs were "intialized" in French Sign Language for example the verb to see in French is "Ver" and still uses the V while signing to see in French. Though the workshop was focusing on the origin of ASL I found a lot of signs he brought up were still used in Mexican Sign Language for example history in LSF and LSM are the same! I always wondered where that sign came from. It looks like someone is opening up a scroll.

      How may this help me in my future career? you may ask. I think by studying some of the nuances of a language you can start to understand how the language flows and how signs all flow together and interact. You begin to understand the thought process and how slang comes about. Lastly the cultural significance to all this is that sign languages are languages that are used and living and growing everyday. Its not a set number of signs. We can really appreciate its beauty once we take off any preconceived ideas of sign language. We understand that sign languages are an expression and is a likeness to the people that use it. 

Author: Noberto Garcia
Last modified: 4/17/2023 1:26 PM (EDT)