American Sign Language: The American Deaf Community

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Across the world there are myriads of different cultures. The United States alone incorporates several different cultures, one of those being the American Deaf culture. Often the Deaf are not thought of as their own culture or community, but simply as a group of people who share a common trait. However, the Deaf community, typically made up of people who are hard of hearing or have total hearing loss, but also including friends and family who are hearing, have formed a culture through their shared language, experiences, and heritage. Members abide by cultural rules, and have their own ways of showing respect and disrespect, sometimes live within their own all-Deaf societies, and have their own social, athletic, and religious organizations.…show more content…
American Sign Language borrows from other languages, mainly English, as many languages do. Thus, some of its grammar shows similarities to American English. The most common sentence structure used in ASL is the “topic-comment” structure, which requires the speaker/signer to reveal their purpose and then add their commentary. While this is present in English, it is with less frequency, as the English language typically requires more sentence variation. However, some grammatical structuring differs from that of American English. “WH-“ structure involves words such as which, where, when, what, and why. When using one of these, it must always be placed at the beginning of the sentence. While this is occasionally relevant in English, often, the WH- word is placed at the end of the…show more content…
Classifiers are dedicated hand shapes used to help represent objects or concepts and provide additional information about nouns and verbs. Classifiers are used when telling stories or describing objects. For example, classifier three or CL: 3, a shape involving the extension of the signer’s first two fingers and thumb, refers to a car or vehicle and can tell a story by mimicking the movements of whatever vehicle it represents. These representative hand shapes hold importance in ASL as they help to clarify or incorporate more detail into a message or story. They also make describing an object much easier and more efficient. Classifier C, or CL: C, can easily be used to describe the layout of a kitchen’s counter top or the placement of a couch in a

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