- 4:32 pm - Fri, Sep 21, 2012
- 511 notes
Reader Chris passes along an article about differences in American Sign Language usage between white and African-American signers. Researchers investigating what they call Black ASL found significant variations in signs, signing space, and facial cues. They explain:
Black ASL is not just a slang form of signing. Instead, think of the two signing systems as comparable to American and British English: similar but with differences that follow regular patterns and a lot of variation in individual usage.
They hypothesize that these differences began in segregated learning environments, and continue to evolve in Black social spaces. The whole article is worth a read.
Thanks, Chris, and remember — you can submit Wonk-worthy links through our ask or via email!
ETA, 9/24/12: Many of you have brought up the use of the word “mainstream” in this infographic. Better choices definitely exist, since this word rings of othering. We appreciate your nuanced and attentive readership!