Facts About Sign Language
1. Sign Language is an integral part and
an identifying feature of membership in the Deaf culture.
2. Sign Language has its own grammatical
structure independent of any spoken/written language, e.g. English, Zulu,
and Xhosa, etc.
3. The majorities of Deaf people (90%) are
born to hearing parents and therefore do not acquire Sign Language as
a mother tongue. They acquire Sign Language at school from peers. Sign
Language is the first language of the majority of deaf children.
4. Minorities (10%) of Deaf children are
born to Deaf parents and these children acquire Sign Language as a mother
5. South African Sign Language (SASL), despite
regional differences and variations, has the same grammatical structure
6. There is not a one-to-one relationship
between Sign Language and English. One sign may be translated into English
by more than one word (perhaps a phrase or sentence). Likewise an English
word may be represented by more than one sign.
7. SASL is not more or less abstract than
any spoken language. It is capable of expressing with all its subtlety
8. That is SASL can be used to tell jokes,
ask riddles, express sarcasm, tell lies, create idioms, make poetry, etc.
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