Types of Sign Language in Washington, DC
The most used Sign Language in Washington, DC and surrounding areas such as Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandra, Reston, Baltimore, Bethesda, Rockville, etc. is American Sign Language. However, there are three noteworthy types of Sign Language as of now in the United States: American Sign Language (ASL), Signed Exact English (SEE), and Pidgin Signed English (PSE). Lets discuss these in this article below.
American Sign Language (ASL)
ASL usually follows the TIME + TOPIC + COMMENT structure.It is utilized by many deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Washington DC, therefore its utilization promotes integration into the Deaf Community. ASL is a gesture based language. Due to this, Speech-reading or listening aptitudes are not expected to learn ASL smoothly because of its visual nature. ASL is exceptionally realistic and comprehension of thoughts can be propelled in a simpler fashion. It has evolved over time through use by hard of hearing people and is a free-flowing, natural language. ASL is a complete, unique language meaning that it not only has its own vocabulary but its own grammar that differs from spoken English. It can be translated, just like any other dialect, to English and the other way around.
Pidgin Signed English (PSE) or Signed English
Pidgin Signed English (PSE) is a blend of American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Culturally, deaf people signing with each other, usually use ASL, however many individuals (frequently deaf or hard of hearing) who figure out how to sign later in life, after hearing and using spoken English, do not sign strictly in ASL. Or maybe, they use a mix of ASL and English that is known as PSE. Culturally, hard of hearing individuals are generally extremely proficient at understanding and utilizing this mix of English and ASL when they sign with someone who doesn’t strictly use ASL.
Signing Exact English (SEE)
It is not a dialect; it is a physically coded kind of English that uses ASL signs supplemented with special signs or modulations that allow English to be signed precisely as it is spoken. The supplemental items added to SEE, which are handled differently in ASL, include things like pronouns, plurals, possession, and the verb “to be”. For example, pronouns are handled via spatial reference in ASL, but would be signed as a specific sign representing (for example, the word “he” or “she”) the pronoun in SEE.
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