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英国作业范文:British Sign Language

时间:2015-10-24 16:42:25 来源:www.ukthesis.org 作者:英国论文网 点击联系客服: 客服:Damien
语言学论文——英国手语
 
在讨论英国手语的未来时,我们必须首先定义符号语言和英国手语。手语是一种的语言,而符号可以来表示特定的词或短语。在世界各地,有许多不同类型和品种的手语,有些是基本的而另一些则发展成高级语言。英国是手语最发达和使用形式最广泛的国家。 据估计,50000人在英国使用手语。
 
英国手语是英国通过几个世纪以来的发展迹象开发的自然语言。它是英国聋人社区使用的语言。(沃尔,2004)。
 
类似于语言、文字的手语自形成以来就一直在发展和演化,不像许多口头或书面语言那么不普遍。使用手语的人被限制在英国,或者与其他熟悉英语手语的人交流,因为英语手语并不超越英国的边界,甚至其他说英语的人群。事实上英国手语,美国手语,爱尔兰手语,对于不同的单词和不同的结构,都表现出不同的形式。因此,有人签合同的时候会因为使用了美国手语,而无法清楚地与使用英国手语的人沟通。除了各国差异,在每个形式的符号语言都有方言变体。
 
英国手语,像口语一样口语,已经以自发的和自然的方式演变来满足用户的需要。 在一些迹象-数字和颜色上有着广泛的地域差异,但多数迹象都是相同的。 许多变化源于学校聋哑人的参加;随着时间的推移,越来越多的证据表明,新的迹象正在创造并被使用。听力学习者而造出新的迹象,随时间变化和更成熟的标志和使用。 听力学习者可能会发现在早期阶段的一个问题,但没有向本地人提出这个问题。词汇在很大程度上的变化是符号上的,也就是语言的“单词”;语法结构使它们结合并赋予意义,改变很少。语言有它自己的生命,而大多数试图影响或控制它得行为都会失败。
 
Linguistics Essays - British Sign Language
 
When discussing the future of British Sign Language we must first define sign language and British Sign Language (BSL). Sign language is a visually based language that uses signs to represent specific words or phrases. There are numerous different types and varieties of sign language based around the world, some are rudimentary while others are have developed into advanced languages. British Sign Language is the most developed and widely used form of sign language used in Britain. It is estimated that 50, 000 people within the UK use BSL.
 
BSL is the natural language of signs that has developed in Britain over centuries. It is the language used by the British Deaf community. (Sutton-Spence & Woll 2004, p. 13).
 
Similar to spoken and written languages BSL has grown and evolved since its inception, but unlike many spoken or written languages is not universal. BSL users are restricted to communicating within Britain, or with other signers familiar with BSL, as BSL does not extend beyond Britain’s borders, even to other English speaking populations. Indeed BSL, American Sign Language (ASL), Irish Sign Language (ISL), have all developed different signs for different words and have different structures, thus, someone signing with ASL will not be able to communicate clearly with someone signing with BSL. In addition to variations from country to country, there are dialect variations within each form of sign language.#p#分页标题#e#
 
BSL, like spoken language, has evolved through the needs of its users in spontaneous and natural ways. There are wide regional differences in some signs - numbers and colours are notoriously variable, however most signs are the same. Many of the variations stem from the schools Deaf people attended; new signs are being coined, and more established signs changing with time and use. Hearing learners may find this a problem in the early stages, but it doesn’t present a problem to native signers. Variations are largely in the vocabulary of signs - the "words" of the language; the grammatical structures that hold it together and give meaning, vary very little. Language has a life of its own, and most attempts to interfere or control it tend to fail. (DeafSign.Com, 2000)
 
Admittedly, it is the nature of language to grow and change, and many dialects and variations have emerged within Standard English. But while dialects in Standard English sometimes lead to confusion if two speakers of different dialects communicate, these differences seldom make it impossible for English speakers, or writers, to communicate with one another.
 
Where as, without a universal form of sign language it makes it difficult for the signing population to communicate with people signing with different variations. This mutual unintelligibility within variations and dialects of sign language leads to deaf populations being not only removed from hearing populations, but also from one another.
 
Because deaf communities tend to be smaller and more contained than other minorities within the hearing community the differences that emerge in sign language are more defined. Where as dialects in spoken English tend to emerge in areas or social communities, there are many more factors that influence dialects in sign language. Sutton-Spence & Woll (2004, p. 13) explain that a signer’s age, class, gender, ethnicity, religion, and locale can all effect the way in which they sign. This leads to many different variations within one variety of sign language alone. Thus, even a concerted effort to unify sign language, whether it be the unification of BSL from the current number of dialects and variations within BSL, to a uniform use of the language, or an even greater attempt to unify the varieties within countries, or even worldwide will be an extremely difficult task.
 
There are so many external forces on the development of sign language that it is difficult to control its use and development. The age at which a person learns to sign and whom they learn it from effects the way in which they sign. This is especially notable when comparing the differences between the children of deaf and hearing parents.
 
Exposure to sign language at an early age is different to the children of deaf parents and the children of hearing parents. Those born to deaf parents are more likely to have had early exposure to a fluent model of adult BSL. Those born to hearing parents often… only begin to learn BSL when they start school…. Research comparing adult signers from deaf and hearing families has shown that their signing differs significantly. (Sutton-Spence & Woll 2004, p. 23-24).#p#分页标题#e#
 
One of the reasons that signing in BSL differs so dramatically from one person to another is that BSL is a complex, fully developed language, which is extremely different from Standard English. BSL has it’s own grammar, syntax, lexicon, and has many other unique features.
 
BSL evolved naturally, as all languages do. It uses both manual and non-manual components – handshapes and movements, facial expression, and shoulder movement. BSL is structured in a completely different way to English, and like any language it has its own grammar. Linguists generally agree that BSL is a topic comment language. For example, the question in English ‘What is your name?’ becomes the sequence ‘Your name what?’ in BSL. (RNID 2004, p. 4).
 
Anyone already fluent in Standard English, or any other language, that wishes to learn BSL must learn a completely new language structure and way of communicating to be able to sign in BSL. Like with Standard English there is a dictionary and many other texts to assist BSL users. The British Deaf Association’s Dictionary of British Sign Language (1992) is 1084 pages long and includes both pictures of each sign in the language, as well as, English word definitions. Yet people wishing to learn BSL cannot do so from text book alone as there are many features of BSL which must be seen or described to understand, such as, nods of the head, shoulder shrugs, facial expressions and lip patterns. “There are many mouth patterns that convey grammatical and phonological information in BSL.” (Sutton-Spence & Woll 2004, p. 81).
 
In addition, to knowing the intricacies of each sign, as well as, the structure and vocabulary of BSL, signers must also become familiar with other unique features of BSL. Features include the ability to express metaphors, poetry and humour using signs. Signers must also become familiar with BSL idioms, euphemisms, expletives / insults, as with any language BSL contains exceptions to the language rules and certain taboo words, such as, “ORAL-SIGNER” (Sutton-Spence & Woll 2004, p. 245). This insult, which is unique to the signing community, reveals the effect of the divide between different varieties and dialects of sign language on the signing community and signing individuals’ opinions of other signers. 
 
Furthermore, because signing languages are completely visual and do not have a written component, like Standard English, this forces people who wish to communicate through both BSL, or other forms of sign language, and also written English to learn two completely different languages. While BSL is currently the most commonly used variety of sign language in Britian, with the internet and email becoming more dominant communication tools by the day. Younger users of sign language may start to tend towards a variety of sign language that incorporates Standard English into its overall format. Currently there are a number of varieties of sign language used in Britain that use Standard English sentence construction and grammar, but these varieties have long been second to BSL.#p#分页标题#e#
 
While the reason for the construction of BSL is quite simple and logical, this does not make the language any easier to use. BSL uses signs that often encompass a few words or a phrase, while the grammar and sentence structure work to create shortened sentences. All of these features serve to shorten BSL sentences, and are necessary to ensure timely communication, as it takes longer to form signs than to speak words.
 
There are a number of other forms of sign language and signing used in Britian, these include Cued Speech, the Paget-Gorman Sign System (PGSS), Signed English, Sign Supported English (SSE), and Fingerspelling. All of these visual languages are largely dependent on Standard English. Some users of sign language use BSL in conjunction with these other forms, while others may choose to stick with one variety.
 
Sign Supported English (SSE) is probably the most popular alternate variety of sign language currently used in Britian. This variety of sign language uses BSL vocabulary and Standard English sentence structure and grammar. “In Sign Supported English (SSE), the key words of a sentence are signed while the person speaks.” (Sutton-Spence & Woll 2004, p. 14). SSE is an advanced variation of Signed English, which uses BSL to sign all of the words in a sentence, using Standard English sentence structure and grammar.
 
There are problems with the use of Signed English. It is very slow, ans a message takes longer in Signed English than in either BSL or [Standard] English. This means that spoken Englidh accompanying Signed English becomes unnaturrally slow, and many English speakers let speech take over and drop some signs. Many BSL signers using Signed English insert features of BSL grammar so that the grammar is not ‘pure English’ any more. (Sutton-Spence & Woll 2004, p. 16).
 
Just as SSE and Signed English depend on Standard English so too does the Paget-Gorman Sign System (PGSS). But whereas SSE and Signed English use BSL signs and incorporate Standard English form, PGSS uses “signs [that] do not come from any sign language, but have been created to represent English words and English grammar” (Sutton-Spence & Woll 2004, p. 14). Because of its focus on Standard English PGSS is easy for native English speakers to learn, but it is not a language used by the deaf community. Similarly, cued speech, which is a system that does not use signs at all, rather “hand cues are made near the mouth to identify different speech sounds.” (Sutton-Spence & Woll 2004, p. 13). Cued speech is a verbally dominated form of visual language and is thus not commonly used within the deaf commuity.
 
One of the most basic and widely used forms of signing if fingerspelling, which has one sign for every letter of the alphabet and requires users to spell out the letters in a word or sentence. Fingerspelling is not a language in itself but is often incorporated into sign languages. Most commonly fingerspelling is used to spell words for which there is no sign, such as, names of people or places. Alternately, fingerspelling can be used to draw attention to a word in a sentence or phrase. Although fingerspelling may be the most simple and basic form of signing, it fails to be universal because different countries have different signs for each letter in the fingerspelling alphabet, making it impossible for signers from different countries to understand the words that are being spelt.#p#分页标题#e#
 
Edward Finegan (2004, p. 19-20) identifies three modes of linguistic communication in Language: Its Structure & Use. He defines these as speaking, writing and signing, yet signing at this point is not a fully developed universal mode of communication as a result of the restrictions the different varieties of sign language put upon their users. Because sign languages have developed and evolved naturally within the relatively small communities within which they are used around they have developed independently and created mutially exclusive varieties. There have been attempts in the past to create or nominate one universal sign language, but up until this point no one variety of sign language has succeeded in dominating the international signing community.
 
In Britian because BSL is the official language of the deaf community, with approximately 50, 000 people within the UK using BSL, it will continue to be the dominant sign language in Britian. Although, with the rise of internet technology and written electronic communication the younger signing community may start to tend towards a Standard English based form of sign language, such as, SSP. The use of SSP would enable signers to communicate in the same language in person and in writing, rather than communicating with BSL sign language in person and Standard English in writing.
 
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