Basic ASL linguistics

The mediums of spoken language and signed languages are quite the contrast: vocal-aural and visual-spatial. Yet, neuroscience studies show that both function in the same linguistic-specific regions of the brain! Talk about Noam Chomsky's universal grammar theory.

Chomsky's theory proposes that the human brain contains a predefined mechanism (bioprogram device) that is the basis for the acquisition of all natural human languages. That is, rules of grammar are hard-wired into the brain.

Evidently, when deaf children were forced to speak signed English (unfortunately, true) that doesn't fit with the evolution of the language-specific regions of the brain (bioprogram device), the brain will evolve the signed language (e.g. phonological structure, grammar, etc.) to fit with the rules of the brain.

Though unethically, you can force on children to speak one language with different grammar of another language, but you cannot force on the superpower nature of the brain's language laws.

Learn about language structure of American Sign Language from the smallest units of language (phonology) to the full-fledged structure of language (discourse).


The study of the smallest units of language, how these units are combined to form a word.

The study of the formation and inflection of words (or morphemes).

The smallest meaningful unit of a language. It's composed of phonemes or parameters, the smallest units of sound or visue respectively.

The study of sentence structure in a language.

The system of structural rules which describes how words combine with each other to form sentences.