Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Black ASL

A person’s speech indicates where they were raised as a child. But does the same holds true for American Sign Language? Researchers at Gallaudet University believe so. They are studying black ASL in an effort to better understand what leads to the development of a distinct dialect. The project is called The History and Structure of Black ASL and has the support of the National Science Foundation. When the team completes its work in 2011, they will have created video documentation of Black ASL and identified its unique features. They have already noted that Black ASL signers prefer two-handed signs and forehead versions of signs. Besides gathering linguistic data, the researchers are also collecting stories about what life is like in the black deaf community.

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