Sign languages

Kent Karlsson kentk at
Wed Feb 22 11:40:56 CET 2006

John Cowan wrote:

> No.  A signed spoken language (this term is ad hoc, but the best I can
> come up with) is a hybrid between a spoken language and a true signed
> language.  Signed Exact (American) English, for example, has a sign
> for every word of American English, and uses them in English syntax.
> Thus a sentence such as "I have two sisters" is signed using
> four signs, "I-sign Have-sign Two-sign Sisters-sign".
> This is entirely distinct from American Sign Language, which is an
> entirely separate language quite unrelated to English (its closest
> relatives are French Sign Language and Martha's Vineyard Sign Language).
> No such one-to one translation from the signs of ASL to English is
> possible.

Aha. But in that case, I've never heard of something that would be
termed "signed spoken Swedish". A (very) small web search did not
yield any support for such a thing existing either (though I guess it
it theoretically possible).

> > written language) for common "words"/concepts, TOGETHER with
> > spelling out in signed letters for names and not so common words.
> Quite so.

But a tag like sgn-US does not say which language lettered words
are in; though they are most likely in English, they may well be in
Spanish. Likewise, for sgn-FI, lettered words are most likely in
Finnish, but may well be in Swedish. Etc. But I don't know enough
about sign languages to make a constructive suggestion.

	/kent k

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list