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Spanish Sign Language->Basic Ideas

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Sign Language is the natural language of deaf people through in which they conceptualize the world and represent it. Enables transmission and communication of needs, desires and opinions, as well as being an essential part of the culture and identity of the Deaf Community as linguistic and cultural minority and as a means of social participation.

The LSE is a language which uses visual-gestural channel for expression and understanding, besides the use of space, movement, simultaneity and facial expression. All this makes the LSE having some grammatical features different from their own spoken languages.

Sign Language meets linguistic properties among which we highlight the following:

Also like any language, the LSE, is mutable, ie the language conforms to the time when you're using it. For example, we find signs for elements of the new technologies, and conversely, there are signs that with the passage of time have fallen into disuse. This leads us to conclude that the LSE is a living language that adapts to the time that is used.

On October 23, 2007, was approved by Law 27/2007 which recognizes the Spanish sign languages and governing the means to support oral communication of the deaf, hearing impaired, and deafblind .

    Signs can be analyzed starting from seven articulatory parameters, which occur simultaneously in space and can play different roles. These parameters are *:

  • Shape or configuration: from the hand or hands involved in the articulation of the sign.
  • Orientation: hand or hands involved in the articulation of the sign with respect to the body of the signers.
  • Place of articulation or space in which the sign is articulated
  • Plans: covering the length of the arm and refer to a point in front of the signers, which articulates the sign
  • Point of contact: or part of the dominant hand in contact with the body of the signers
  • Movement: finger, hand, forearm or arm, hand signs, or face, head or body, or multiple non-manual signs.
  • Component not Manual: covering facial expressions, movement of the head, shoulders and trunk.

Gender is a grammatical category that classifies nouns and adjectives into masculine or feminine. At LSE there is concordance in relation to gender. Both inanimate nouns as adjectives are invariable words they do not present gender bending, whereas in the animate nouns can usually distinguish between male and female. In these cases, the gender difference involves sexual distinction.

There are three ways to explain these differences:

At LSE there are no specific grammatical morphemes to mark number, but there are different grammatical and lexical procedures to express quantity.

  • Nouns
    • In many cases the context will determine the number of the noun.
    • Adding to the noun or indefinite quantifiers like many, some, quite.
    • Adding defined quantifiers or two, three, etc.
    • By facial expression
    • Through repetition of the sign.
  • Adjectives: Adjectives are invariable words in LSE in number.
  • Verbs: The number of the verb in the LSE has been little studied so far, so cannot provide definitive results at this time. We can say that serves to mark the plural of the agent or object in the directional verbs and distributive. It also indicates the plural of the beneficiaries of the action or targets.

The expression of negation has several forms of expression.

  • It can exist only with the rotational movement of head to one side.
  • There are signs that incorporate the negative meaning in their articulation through a final movement
  • Other signs that express denial are:
    • WITHOUT, STILL sign in final sequence position, NOTHING after the sign, NOONE, NONE.