The Development of American Sign Language Essay examples

The Development of American Sign Language Essay examples

Length: 2932 words (8.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

The development of American Sign Language in the United States dates back to as early as the 1600s. On Martha’s Vineyard there was a relatively large Deaf population due to genetics and heredity. This was thought to trace back to the first people of the land, who traveled from Massachusetts and carried this genetic deafness with them. Because there were so many people that were deaf living there, it was extremely common for all people, deaf and hearing, to learn their own version of sign language. This early form of sign language was known as Martha’s Vineyard Sign Language (MVSL) (Lapiak, 1996-2014). Little did the creators of Martha’s Vineyard Sign Language know, MVSL would be incorporated into the first school for deaf students (Lapiak, 1996-2014).
As time progressed, American Sign Language began to further develop in the 1700s with help from the French Sign Language. Charles-Michel, abbé de l’Epée, the man responsible for development of the French Sign Language, was known for teaching less fortunate deaf French children how to sign different concepts and to use the manual alphabet to spell words (“Sign Language,” n.d.). It was not until Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet traveled to Europe that sign language started to make its appearance in the United States of America.
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet was a very bright and well educated young man who was from Hartford, Connecticut. He acquired undergraduate and graduate level college degrees and entered the seminary to follow his religious calling. While he was living in Connecticut, a neighbor had a deaf daughter and asked that Gallaudet would go to Europe to learn about how one would go about teaching a deaf child. Gallaudet met the head of the Institut Royal des Sourds-Muets, Abbe Sica...


... middle of paper ...


...urnal of Audiology, 20(2), S197-S202. doi: 10.1044/1059-0889(2011/10-0029)
Sign Language. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2014, from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/543721/sign-language
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. (2013). Gallaudet University. Retrieved February 16, 2014, from http://www.gallaudet.edu/dpn_home/thomas_hopkins_gallaudet.html
Vicars, W., Ed.D. (1997-2013). American Sign Language: "parameters" Lifeprint.com. Retrieved February 16, 2014, from http://lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-layout/parameters.htm
Vicars, W., Ed.D. (1997-2013). ASL Classifiers Level 1. Lifeprint.com. Retrieved February 16, 2014, from http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-signs/classifiers/classifiers-frame.htm
What is American Sign language? (n.d.). National Association of the Deaf. Retrieved February 16, 2014, from http://www.nad.org/issues/american-sign-language/what-is-asl

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Thesis Statement : American Sign Language Essay

- THESIS STATEMENT (central idea + preview statement): American Sign Language didn’t begin until 1814 which is fairly new language compared to modern languages such as English, Spanish, and French. ASL started when deaf education was first introduced in America. In this speech, we will be discussing the following: where, when, and why did ASL started, the history of Martha’s Vineyard, evolution of ASL, recognition of ASL as a real language. ORGANIZATIONAL PATTERN: Chronological Order INTRODUCTION ATTENTION STATEMENT: “For almost three centuries, due to an inbred recessive gene, the population of Martha 's Vineyard had an unusual proportion of profoundly deaf people....   [tags: Sign language, American Sign Language]

Research Papers
1056 words (3 pages)

Signs Of American Sign Language Essay

- American Sign Language has no exact origin but it is a visual language using hand movements, facial expressions and body language to communicate that is used by people that can’t hear. It is used predominantly by the deaf and people who can hear but cannot speak. Certain signs also represent complete ideas or phase’s not just individual word, not every word in sign language is signed. Sign Language is composed of a system that has conventional gestures using all your body parts, even spelling word out with your fingers....   [tags: Sign language, American Sign Language]

Research Papers
1048 words (3 pages)

Visual Language And American Sign Language Essay

- Visual language as such as sign language is the concept of gesture, body language, facial expression, and movement. Sign languages had many different languages in the world; for example, Mexican Sign Language, Japanese Sign Language, Chinese Sign Language, langue des signes Francaise, American sign language, etc. In the present day, million Deaf Americans use American Sign Language to use communicate each other as a visual language in anywhere includes America, Canada, and some countries. It is not audio language, but it is an official languages recognized since 1988 by the government due issue of Deaf President Now for protest by Gallaudet students and Deaf people at capitol hill and Gallau...   [tags: Sign language, American Sign Language]

Research Papers
1631 words (4.7 pages)

Essay about Native American Sign Language

- Native American Sign Language Very basic, elementary and logical characteristics made the Native American Sign Language the world's most easily learned language. It was America's first and only universal language. The necessity for intercommunication between Indian tribes having different vocal speech developed gesture speech or sign language (Clark; pg. 11). Although there is no record or era dating the use of sign language, American Indian people have communicated with Indian Sign Language for thousands of years....   [tags: Native Americans Sign Language Communication]

Research Papers
1455 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Physical Sexual Assault, And American Sign Language ( Asl )

- Over the course of instruction, I have gathered an understanding that Burlesque differs from other kinds of strip-tease in it’s humor and current commentary, sometimes specifically on social or political situations. The theoretical portion of the performance was the most entertaining part--the performance portion was a bit more difficult for me. As a sexual assault survivor, on-stage vulnerability (particularly involving the removal of clothing) will always been a challenge for me, but incorporating my feelings about those kinds of situations made the exercise more plausible....   [tags: Sign language, American Sign Language]

Research Papers
1297 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about Uses of Fingerspelling and American Sign Language

- American Sign Language is the visual language that has been created by the deaf in this country. For those with a limited knowledge of deaf culture or American Sign Language (ASL), fingerspelling may be a foreign concept. Fingerspelling is the act of using the manual alphabet of ASL to spell a word or phrase. All fingerspelling is done with the dominant hand, as are one-handed signs, and is ideally done in the area between the shoulder and the chin on the same side as the dominant hand. This skill serves many purposes and functions in ASL conversation....   [tags: sign language, deaf, fingerspelling]

Research Papers
1225 words (3.5 pages)

The Challenge of a Computer Representation of Sign Language: Capturing a “Visual-Spatial” Language Electronically

- The Challenge of a Computer Representation of Sign Language: Capturing a “Visual-Spatial” Language Electronically Signed languages are not simply another means of communicating a spoken language. Individual signed languages are linguistically unique forms of communication, with their own grammatical constructs, word order, sensibility, and rules. American Sign Language, used in the United States and parts of Canada, is not the same as English. (Fox 2002). Like many people who share common beliefs, customs, and behavior, the Deaf community has developed a coherent culture....   [tags: Language ]

Research Papers
1349 words (3.9 pages)

The Cognitive Imperative of American Sign Languafe Essay

- The Cognitive Imperative of American Sign Language As a cultural group, Deaf Americans present a thriving and distinct example of language in action. Many of the traditions of Deaf culture—including storytelling, word games, etc.—are celebrations of American Sign Language (ASL). But contemporary Deaf Americans face myriad issues, including the preservation of sign language as it relates to the child’s upbringing and education in particular. Because a child with a profound hearing loss is not able to access the language that pervades their environment, it is crucial that these children are given ASL as soon as possible....   [tags: deaf culture]

Research Papers
884 words (2.5 pages)

Sign Language Teacher Essay

- Being a sign language teacher for high school or college seems like a very broad topic to me. The more I think about it, the more profound it seems. I don't feel it's set in stone that I want to be a sign language teacher, but I feel it would be a good foundation so if I wanted to do a different field I could do so easily. I'm sure there is a lot of work that needs to be done to even qualify for a sign language teacher. I need to have the ability to work in all kinds of environment, be it school, work, and every day situations as well as being fully informed in my special field....   [tags: work, qualify, foundation]

Research Papers
516 words (1.5 pages)

Essay Language Development: How Two Gorillas Learned to Talk

- Language development is a very special process. There are three steps in the development of the human language. There is phonological development, semantic development, and finally grammar development. I will explain to you what these steps consist of and how two gorillas learned language and who taught them. Phonological development is one of the first types of human language development. According to the text Essentials of Psychology. 'Phonological Development is the development of the ability to produce recognizable speech.'(pg.262) When a baby is first born he or she babbles....   [tags: Language Development Essays]

Research Papers
922 words (2.6 pages)