The History and Spread of the American Sign Language

Topics: Sign Language


American Sign Language (ASL) was developed in the 1800s by a significant Deaf community in the U.S. ASL is not related to English, although it borrows from English as many other spoken languages do. Similarly, ASL has other words order that is different from English such as idioms, jokes, and poetry which are all unrelated to English. As a result, anything can be taught in ASL because it is a language guided by properties.

American Sign Language is a visually perceived language based on a naturally evolved system of articulated hand gestures and their placement relative to the body, along with nonmanual markers such as facial expressions, head movements, mouth morphemes, and movements of the body.

Further, ASL uses manual communication to convey meaning, as opposed to acoustically conveyed sound patterns. Besides, ASL is related to English as English is related to Latin. Nevertheless, none of their grammatical structures bear much resemblance because they are their languages. As a result, ASL contains properties like other languages which include nouns, verbs and adjectives hence ASL maintains grammar rules that must be followed (Bailes, 147-150).

According to Valli and Ceil 200, language majorly involves a body of words and the systems that are common to a group of people who are of the same community or nation. Furthermore, the language may be spoken by people of the same geographical area or the same culture. therefore ASL is a language as it contains the culture and traditions of the deaf people that mainly involve the deaf people in America.

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As a result, Americans use it to communicate, and it sustains their communication (Kegl, 130).

In conclusion, ASL is a language as more Americans are learning how to communicate with the Deaf Community. On top of that many universities in America are supporting the learning of ASL by providing scholarships to students who are interested in learning ASL. Similarly, the Americas are incorporating ASL in their daily communication to improve their way of passing the message to one another.

Work cited

  1. Bailes, Cindy. “Integrative ASL-English language arts: Bridging paths to literacy.” Sign Language Studies 1.2 (2001): 147-174.
  2. Kegl, Judy, et al. The syntax of American Sign Language: Functional categories and hierarchical structure. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000.
  3. Valli, Clayton, and Ceil Lucas. Linguistics of American sign language: An introduction. allaudet University Press, 2000.

Cite this page

The History and Spread of the American Sign Language. (2022, Jun 27). Retrieved from

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