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Volume One: Issue Two

Winter 2001

The Right of the Deaf Child to Grow Up Bilingual
Fran�ois Grosjean

The English-Only Movement and Sign Language for Deaf Learners: An Instructive Parallel
David S. Martin
Patricio Garci�
Susan Plann


Integrative ASL-English Language Arts: Bridging Paths to Literacy
Cynthia Neese Bailes


Patterns of Conceptual Encoding in ASL Motion Descriptions
Sarah Taub and Dennis Galvan


Danielle Bouvet, Le corps et la m�taphore dans les langues gestuelle: A la recherche des modes de production des signes (The body and metaphor in gestural languages: In search of the modes of production of signs)
David F. Armstrong
Patricio Garci�

In 1878 Patricio Garci�, a student at the Spanish National School for Deaf Mutes and the Blind, smuggled a note to the Ministry of Development in which he denounced corporal punishment at the establishment. The charges led to a high-level investigation that brought about fundamental changes at the school. The incident affords a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life at a nineteenth-century deaf residential school: the students� daily lives, their resistance to abuses of authority, and the unity that reigned among them.

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Integrative ASL-English Language Arts: Bridging Paths to Literacy

A qualitative study was conducted to examine principles and instructional strategies for teaching English literacy through ASL and for teaching ASL as a language art. The study site was an ASL/English bilingual charter school for deaf children where a majority of teachers are deaf and all are fluent in ASL and English. The author describes and interprets six principles for teaching English literacy through ASL as well as the instructional strategies that support these principles. The study suggests that “integrative ASL/English language arts,” in which attending and signing explicitly support reading and writing development, is conducive to English literacy development.

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Patterns of Conceptual Encoding in ASL Motion Descriptions

Languages differ in how they include, emphasize, and omit information about motion events. The present study looks at American Sign Language patterns of co-occurrence of conceptual elements, drawing data from adult's retellings of the story, Frog, Where Are You? (Mayer, 1969).

In analyzing description of one complex scene, we found mainly repetition of information (e.g. three to five reptitions of the V classifer): Signers would separate the scene into aspects and describe each in sequence, repeating some information for coherence when presenting new information. At the end, a skilled signer might summarize the whole event with one classifier form. We found no evidence for co-occurrence restrictions: no upper limit on the amount of information that may be included in one form, and no limit on types of information that may co-occur in the CL:V form, with one possible exception�boundary-crossings co-occurred only with simple linear Paths.

We conclude that, contrary to the claims of Supalla (1990) and Slobin and Hoiting (1994), there are no absolute co-occurrence restrictions on the informational elements that can go into ASL classifier constructions. Although there are no absolute restrictions, many aspects of events are typically separated into different pieces and presented sequentially. This type of separation occurs both in signed languages and in gestures accompanying spoken languages (McNeill 199); it may be a consequence of our cognitive and perceptual resources for understanding motion events rather than of arbitrary rules specific to linguistic structure.

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