Sign language: a multi-dimensional, linguistic beauty

What can we say about it? See what they (hearing people) say about it. The most common terms described include: "beautiful", "expressive", "fascinating", etc. Those descriptions are on the surface of seeing sign language.

A little more descriptions are coming from those hearing people who are signing.

"[Sign language] is, in the hands of its masters, a most beautiful and expressive language, for which, in their intercourse with each other and as a means of easily and quickly reaching the minds of the deaf, neither nature nor art has given them a satisfactory substitute.

"It is impossible for those who do not understand it to comprehend its possibilities with the deaf, its powerful influence on the moral and social happiness of those deprived of hearing, and its wonderful power of carrying thought to intellects which would otherwise be in perpetual darkness. Nor can they appreciate the hold it has upon the deaf. So long as there are two deaf people upon the face of the earth and they get together, so long will signs be in use." -- J. Schuyler Long, Head teacher, Iowa School for the Deaf. The Sign Language (1910)"

"Sign language is the equal of speech, lending itself equally to the rigorous and the poetic, it philosophical analysis or to making love." -- neurologist Oliver Sacks (1933-2015); author of Seeing Voices: A Journey Into the World of the Deaf (1989) and many other books.

More to come...

But, wait till you see talented literary arts in poetry, storytelling, and calligraphy (only if you know advanced ASL enough) and further understand the literary elements. You'd be blown away. :)

Related posts

What is and what is not sign language?

Enter a keyword in the field box below to search or filter the new topic list and click on the link.

New to sign language? "Where do I start?" or "How do I start learning sign language?" This ASL Rookie guide lists some selected links to the tutorials for ASL beginners to get started and keep rolling. It may be a useful review for intermediate-level learners and ASL students as well.

Some tutorial pages are a mix of free and premium versions. Access to premium content and links below are available in the PatronPlus subscription. More links/posts will be added from time to time.

Expressing needs and wants

  1. Making commands or requests

Talking about activities

  1. Frequency of time: how often?

Are you able to carry everyday conversations in ASL? Are you a student in the intermediate levels and beyond, who wishes to boost up your signing skills? You've come to the selected tutorial series. (Some premium content are available to PatronPlus membership.)

Stories, poems, performance arts, etc. in sign language.

This documentation project follows a child's language acquisition, literacy development, and phonological acquisition in sign language, specifically ASL, from newborn to age five in a natural native-ASL environment and visual culture.