Gallaudet University Press

8:4 Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Reflection of Its Social Community

Experts Come Together to Produce an Extraordinary
American Sign Language Dictionary

Simply defined as texts that describe the meanings of words, with examples and pronunciation, dictionaries often are much more than that. Dictionaries frequently reflect the social community in which the language is used, and the language need not be a spoken one. Gallaudet University Press has published a dictionary that reflects the community of the first liberal arts university in the world. With renowned linguist and native signer Clayton Valli as Editor-in-Chief, a remarkable team of native ASL signers and linguists worked for more than six years to create The Gallaudet Dictionary of American Sign Language.

Now available, The Gallaudet Dictionary of American Sign Language is a learning tool for beginning signers, a reference tool for more advanced signers, and also an English vocabulary reference for Deaf people. Because American Sign Language, like all languages, contains a lot of variation, the editors of this dictionary have included several versions of some signs. To achieve this goal, the dictionary contains more than 3,000 ASL signs. The DVD enclosed with the dictionary includes live-action clips of signers making all of the signs and is completely searchable, allowing users to look up signs by typing in synonyms or to find signs with alternate meanings.

View sample illustrations, and order online now to receive a special savings of 20% off the regular price by typing “APR0620%” in the box marked “Comments or Special Instructions” below your credit card information. Or, order by mail.

In her upcoming book, Frequency of Occurrence and Ease of Articulation of Sign Language Handshapes: The Taiwanese Example, author Jean Ann explores handshapes in Taiwan Sign Language (TSL), one of the more studied sign languages of Asia. Jean Ann explains, “About fifty-six handshapes have been discovered for TSL (Smith and Ting 1979, 1984). The null hypothesis would predict that all fifty-six handshapes ought to occur with equal frequency in TSL. However, this conjecture is not the case; in fact, some handshapes occur with much greater frequency than others. Why should this variation occur? Linguists might hypothesize that ease of articulation has something to do with this phenomenon. In other words, the handshapes that are used most frequently are the easiest to articulate or make. This book examines that hypothesis.” Read more in chapter 2 “The Anatomy and Physiology of the Human Hand,” and order Frequency of Occurrence and Ease of Articulation of Sign Language Handshapes.

Just this month, Deaf Women’s Lives co-author Bainy Cyrus won a 2006 notable award from Writers Notes Magazine, an international resource for authors published by independent and small presses, for her memoir All Eyes featured in Deaf Women’s Lives: Three Self-Portraits, the third volume in the Deaf Lives series. In All Eyes, Cyrus vividly tells of how she was taught using the oral method at the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, MA, and how two girls there changed her life later as an adult. Read an excerpt of Cyrus’s memoir, and order Deaf Women’s Lives here.

Just visiting? Subscribe now to the Gallaudet University Press E-newsletter and receive exclusive updates, book excerpts, and discounts...absolutely free.

Read previous Gallaudet University Press E-newsletters:

April 2001
May 2001
June 2001
July 2001
August 2001
September 2001
October 2001
November 2001
December 2001
January 2002
February 2002
March 2002
April 2002
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002

December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004

August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006

Spring 2006 Catalog


Contact the webmaster at gupress@gallaudet.edu

Copyright 1999-2006 Gallaudet University. All rights reserved.