Blog Articles by CHRISTOPHER GREENE-SZMADZINSKI

ASL Syntax

ASL Syntax

By Marta Belsky and Christopher Greene-Szmadzinski  |  Wednesday, May 21, 2014

In addition to having its own vocabulary, American Sign Language also has its own grammar and syntax that differs from English.
ASL glossing and conventions

ASL glossing and conventions

By Marta Belsky and Christopher Greene-Szmadzinski  |  Sunday, April 13, 2014

Since ASL is a visual-gestural language, not a spoken consecutive language, it can only truly be recorded in video and not captured in writing. Many writing systems have been developed for ASL, but none of them have reached a critical mass, probably because it is difficult to capture handshape, location, palm orientation, movement and non-manual signals in a written word. For that reason, when scribing ASL, many people rely on the linguistic convention called "glossing," which means writing a word in your native language for each sign that appears. This is not a perfect system, but it can be useful when discussing the syntax of other languages, signed or spoken.