Ok… they really aren’t the answers to life… but if someone does have those answers, please forward them on to me!! ;)
I know you all want to know the answers to my little ASL experiment/project that I had to do for class… I had over 21 people email me their answers… it was fun seeing what everyone came up with! AND I PROMISE, I did not laugh at you! One of the reasons I did not laugh at you was because you all helped me out so much!! (So thank you!) The other reason I did not laugh is because ASL is not just miming, or gesturing, or trying to make a picture with your hands that looks exactly like what you are talking about. ASL is an actual language, so I did not expect you all to know what I was signing.
Just like in English, not every symbol (word) is iconic of what it is referring to. Let’s take the word “cat” for instance… that word is a symbol of the actual furry animal. The word “cat” looks nothing like the actual thing. If you said “cat” to someone who didn’t know what a cat was, they wouldn’t be able to guess what it was just based on the sound or look of that word. That makes it arbitrary. Words that are more iconic would be an onomatopoeia … words like “boom” or “buzz”… it actually sounds like the noise it’s describing. confusing yet? ;)
Well it’s the same thing in American Sign Language. Not every sign looks like what it is referring to. A person who uses ASL would not be able to understand Chinese Sign Language or Italian Sign Language because of the arbitrariness of language. Which disproves the myth that ASL is universal! That’s what this project was all about. Iconicity and arbitrariness… HERE is a link that describes it in case my description doesn’t make sense … which is very likely ;)
Now for the moment you have all been waiting for… the answers to my project! lol
Sign #1: Baby
Sign #2: Bird
Sign #3: Book
Sign #4: Banana
Sign #5: Cat
Sign #6: Baseball
Sign #7: Swimming
Sign #8: Tree
Sign #9: Stars
Sign #10: School
**The first 8 signs are relatively iconic. Most people guessed those correctly.
So, once again, thank you so much to everyone who helped me finish my project!! You guys are the best!! Seriously! :) In other news… 2 more sleeps before my first full marathon!! haha… yep, had to throw that in there somewhere lol ;) I’m still popping Tylenol and Vitamin C and drinking plenty of water and Emergen-C to try to kick this cold… My nose/face is feeling a tad better but my cough has gotten way worse… hopefully it gets a little better before Sunday! :)
What did you think about the project if you took part in it?
Now that you know the answers to the signs, does it make sense why that sign represents that object?
Before reading this post, did you think that ASL was universal? (it’s ok to admit it… lots of people think it is!)
Do you have any prior knowledge of ASL? Do you know ASL?
Have you ever tried to communicate with a Deaf person? Stories please! :)