Sign Language: True Language for the Deaf

Topics: Sign language, Linguistics, American Sign Language Pages: 4 (813 words) Published: January 8, 2013
GAC002 Assessment Event 4: Academic Research Essay

Sign Language:
True Language for the Deaf

Student’s Name: Laluna Christy Sidabutar
Student ID #: 110165
Teacher: Mr. William Powell
Due Date: 01 November 2012
Word Count:583
Many people must have heard of sign languages, but only a few of them who truly understand the purpose, meaning, and usage of the language. In this essay, various details about sign language will be unraveled. Let’s start off with sign language as a natural language that uses different means of expressions of communication in daily life.

Sign language is specifically the only means of communication for the hearing impaired. Sign language develops in deaf communities where the people are deaf or have problems with hearing.

Sign language is delivered by simultaneously mixing hand shapes, orientation, and movements of hands, arms, body, and facial expressions to express the communicator’s thoughts. Of the many examples of sign languages, the two most well-known are American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL). The hand signs of each language are different, but there are signs with universal sentence structure. For example, ‘hi’ and ‘goodbye’ signs have the same meaning in sign languages all over the world.

Sign languages require communicators to use hand gestures and facial expressions, but people need to keep in mind that sign language is not an unconscious body language. An example of unconscious body language is when people are tired or bored: normally, people tend to put their cheek on their hand unconsciously. This type of body language doesn’t mean that those tired people are using sign language. Some more examples of unconscious body language are pouting, rolling eyes, clenching a fist, and crossing arms.

To clarify, sign languages do not just copy another language such ASL doesn’t just copy English. A simple good test is to find an English word with two different meanings. For example,...
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