[lit-ideas] Re: "Rejecting" deafness

  • From: Andy <min.erva@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 11:44:07 -0700 (PDT)

That's a good point.  In order to read lips or words, one must first learn 
English (or whatever language).  The profoundly deaf don't speak English or any 
language, because they can't hear any language.  I would imagine that in order 
to learn to read English, they would first have to learn ASL or other bona fide 
sign language (as opposed to ESL), then learn to read English.  It would be 
much less effective the other way around, if it would work at all.  English is 
composed of something like 50-60% of "filler words" like the, a, do, to, etc. 
as well as redundancy in tenses and the like which don't translate into ASL.  
Hearing children who learn ASL from birth from living with deaf parents use 
more of their brain than children hearing only one language, since they pick up 
the spoken language that surrounds them along with the sign language.

Carol Kirschenbaum <carolkir@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
A note on ASL: Learning how to read any language is difficult, apparently, 
if one relies on ASL, or some other signing language, to the exclusion of 
lip-reading (oralism). ASL is more of an affective than a cognitive 
language; it's closer to a "whole language" than one with Indo-European 
roots. (Ever watch a translating signer carefully? It's not unlike miming, 
or acting.) But without the automatic subject-verb-object connection, 
reading is a bear.


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