How intricate/detailed is sign language, especially where inflection and sarcasm are concerned? Do those exist?

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How intricate/detailed is sign language, especially where inflection and sarcasm are concerned? Do those exist?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

Body language and facial expression play into it heavily. With sign language you can half-ass the sign to indicate dismissal, make it very emphatically or adjust the pacing, repeat for emphasis and so on but mostly you’re watching the non-specific cues just like you are in a verbalized conversation.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I have many Deaf family members and worked in an ASL education group for 8 years. ASL can be very intricate and expressive and a lot of the “tone” comes from facial expressions and body language. It’s hard to explain in writing but one thing I love about ASL is how visual it can be depending on the person signing. Instead of saying something like “a vicious wolf” in English, in ASL you could sign “wolf, drooling, hungry” and then bear your teeth or bite at the air. The same can be done to show sarcasm or a joking tone. You could make a funny face, widen your eyes or sign more exaggerated.

Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s just as intricate and detailed as other languages, and has sarcasm, inflection, and pretty much all the other basic features of languages. Sign languages are real, actual, full languages, complete with dialects and all, not just some half-assed attempts that deaf people can kind of get by with.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It is helpful to note that American Sign Language is the common sign language is the US. Many countries have their own sign language some have more than one. In the US there are regional dialects of ASL.

Also American Sign Language is closer to French Sign Language than British Sign Language. It all goes back to Laurent Clerc who was hired by Thomas Gallaudet to teach his deaf daughter and other children.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Yes, and puns do too. For example, the sign “understand” is it’s own sign, but you can also sign the word “stand” upside down under your other hand… Under, stand. Let me ask you a question: why wouldn’t ASL, BSL, or any other signed language be just as intricate and expressive as spoken ones? These are features not of the languages themselves, but of the people speaking them. Just look at how our text communication has evolved in the digital age: we developed new slang, emojis, things like /s, etc to convey what we would usually convey through tone of voice and facial expressions. You don’t think Deaf people would do the same? They’re just as human as any hearing people, with the same need for expressing sarcasm and tone, so they developed a way to do that just like any other human in a situation where they can’t do that through tone of voice.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Yes, lots of what you’re asking about is conveyed through non-manual markers (manual = hand here) or NMMs in ASL. Grammar and tone are often spatial.

Sign languages are languages and so have all the linguistic features you’d expect in English. IMO ASL is more complex, but it’s my 3rd language so order of learning could play in.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Even in the speech world our signs have different meanings based on facial and body cues – middle finger, wanking hand motion, waving hello or good bye – these can express anger, amusement, sarcasm, frustration, sadness, connectedness, enthusiasm, flirtation, just like spoken language.

Anonymous 0 Comments

AFAIK they are complete languages with all the features of verbal languages.

I remember an anecdote from my phonology professor who said that in all languages adjacent sounds affect each other, and a student raised their hand and said “what about sign language” and this stumped the professor so much he went and studied this and now he’s the expert of sign language phonology. 🙂

Anonymous 0 Comments

I was in an ASL class and a classmate nodded off. The instructor slammed the table in front of her and proceeded to ‘yell’ at her and told her if she was tired to go home and sleep! The message was very clear and I felt the heat from across the room, thankful it wasn’t directed at me.