San Diego ASL Teachers Association

ASL translation from scripts is often a challenge to understand by the Deaf community and their influences were coming from ASL teaching. There are issues in ASL teaching. With this panel of ASL linguists, we would like to clarify what ASL is.

1. What is ASL? Is ASL based on the sign language of deaf people in the USA and Canada? Or is it based on a certain type of a group? Where is ASL on the range between 0% to 100% English influence?

2. Are words “or”, “if”, “but”, “to”, “of”, “by”, “be”, etc. part of ASL?

3. What is ASL’s grammar word order? In social media, they say ASL is object, subject, verb based?

4. Are letter (initialized) signs part of ASL?

5. Have you seen anyone sign without any English influence? If so, where are they?

6. What does ASL’s question structure look like? Does WH always have to be at the end of a question?

(with the ASL linguists Pamela Decker-Wright, Lina Hou, and Tory Sampson and the panel moderator, Garrett Bose)