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William G. Vicars, Ph.D.
MCSE, MCT, MCP+I, A+, Network+, EdNet
Opening "Chat Log February 10"
DrVicars: Good evening!
DrVicars: What time you all have?
DrVicars: Let's get started then.
DrVicars: Any general questions before I go over the agenda?
[Various procedural questions]
DrVicars: Our agenda for tonight: Classifiers, Initialization, Terminology,
DrVicars: Here we go, what is a classifier? What do you think Art?
Art: I think you caught me not doing today's homework.
DrVicars: Heh, sorry, for putting you on the spot.
Lii: It's the form of the fingers or hands to initiate a sign. Such as... if you
want to sign a cup or a
Tigie: Like long narrow things and round flat things
Daniel: Signs that represent classes of objects such as land or water vehicles as a group.
DrVicars: Those are some great answers, I think we are getting there. :)
Now give me a real
Sandy: Like using the index finger to show long skinny things?
DrVicars: Good, right. Let me explain it a bit more for you. If I want to
show a person walking
Sandy: What I didn't understand in looking at this was - isn't it overly broad?
Is it really
DrVicars: Think of classifiers as a type of pronoun.
DrVicars: You have to identify your pronoun before you can use it. Also you have to use
Tigie: How do you know that classifier "F" isn't part of a word instead of a small round thing?
DrVicars: Great question. The answer is context. It is the same way you
know the letter O and
Sandy: So, classifiers are used later on in the "sentence,"--it makes more
DrVicars: I don't expect you all to be experts at classifiers, just want you to know
Tigie: would anyone understand that a button popped off and not for instance a bottle cap?
DrVicars: Remember this concept: "Show, don't tell." It is
much faster to create an imaginary
Lii: Why would you use the "F" sign to show a button popped off? Wouldn't you use a "B?"
DrVicars: Because an "F" has a round hole representing the shape of a
button. Remember ASL
Lii: Thanks, that makes perfect sense.
DrVicars: Great. There are a number of text books that go into greater detail
than here. If you
Okay, now let's talk about initialization. Any body with a short definition?
Lii: Would an example be...F for family?
DrVicars: and a C for class, and a T for team
Sandy: explain what was meant by [an earlier comment] "these are forms of old signs," please.
DrVicars: In the "OLD" days ASL was even less connected to English than
Monica: One of my texts advises caution in using initialized signs, what is your
DrVicars: I use them sparingly. Sure, I sign Family with an F, and the normal
signs for Team
Sandy: that brings up a question - my day-to-day does not have Deaf people in it -- do
DrVicars: Most deaf are really happy to "include" you.
Sandy: I don't mean just to practice - you know...
DrVicars: I say "include" meaning if they know you are sincere.
DrVicars: If you keep showing up. If you don't butt in and act like you know alot, when
Sandy: no fear there :)
DrVicars: Spend more time watching and asking questions than you do making comments.
Art: I borrowed a book from the library and I realized that to learn ASL you really
need to have
DrVicars: It sure helps! Kind-of like if you want to learn how to surf, it's
helpful to have some
Lii: It sounds just like with Native Americans. The sincerity has to be there,
and you really have
DrVicars: Let me suggest something you don't do. Don't ask what the swear words
Art: The library also has the video, "Say and Sign It"
Lii: My library has the same video. It's really good!
Monica: My library has a 16 video set, but all beginning videos are always checked out.
DrVicars: Sign Enhancers?
DrVicars: Tell them to put a hold on one of them and call you when they come in.
Monica: They won't do that!
DrVicars: You might consider petitioning your library for more videos.
Art: They sign too fast.
Lii: They do, but it sure helps to keep watching and pretty soon, it gets easier.
DrVicars: Practice makes easier, GA San
Sandy: Are there helps in the videos, i.e., subtitles?
DrVicars: Depends which video. Most either have captions or sound.
Art: They show it first and later explain and go over it. and show it again.
Lii: I still have trouble understanding other people, such as when my friends signed. I guess...
[At this point I lost my internet connection and was "kicked off." It
took me a few minutes to
You have just entered room Classroom
DrVicars: I'm Baaaaaak. Hey sorry about that.
Art: I was just mentioning the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Forum on AOL
DrVicars: Right, have you visited much?
Art: Not yet but many great links.
DrVicars: Okay, let's talk about terminology. Any questions regarding big words?
Sandy: Are the months always fingerspelled, even with the abbreviations?
DrVicars: ASL tends to used spelled abbreviations of three letters except for months
with five or
DrVicars: Signed English has signs for the months, but the abbreviated spellings are so
DrVicars: Now let's talk about the signs for subject areas: Feelings and
Requests. The most
Sandy: Please elaborate a little on the motion for "HOW."
DrVicars: I take a C hand and put the thumb along the index finger, so it looks like a
Sandy: no - thank you
Monica: Could you do the same for happy, please
DrVicars: Sure. "B" hands, thumbs relaxed, palm facing your chest, one
hand higher than the
The motion is a rolling motion and repeats a couple times, it moves back, up, out,
Monica: Ahhhh! Thanks :-D
Lii: Can you sign happy with just one hand? Or do you need both.
DrVicars: If you are holding a drink in your left hand, I recommend you use only the right :)
DrVicars: Heh, yes, yes, you can do it with one hand. That is the difference between
Lii: Thanks so much. LOL
DrVicars: Great question, by the way.
DrVicars: Most signs tend to become easier over time. The old signs [like
"CAT"] used to use
Lii: That's helpful, because I use a cane. I wondered what I'd do.
DrVicars: Let me share something sensitive with you. My daughter has APERT
And will eventually even forget if she is missing a finger or two. The reason is
deaf people look
DrVicars: I really believe that. I have had complete conversations with people
who had no
Lii: I appreciate you sharing that. Thanks. It was most helpful.
Art: That's amazing. I noticed in the video [from the library] the faces are really animated.
DrVicars: Right, exactly!...Many hearies are considered "monotone" because
they don't use
Monica: At what point is it over dramatic for facial expressions? Or too animated?
DrVicars: Wow, great question. I would say it gets back to that bit about
sincerity. If you are
Tigie: :) You have to be kind of brave, to show so much emotion in your face, don't you?
DrVicars: At first yes. Then later it becomes easy. Interestingly enough, it is
easier to apologize
DrVicars: Also I've noticed in church when the hearing people (who can sign) get all
DrVicars: I'd like to do more research on it someday. I want to check into using
sign as a
Monica: Great idea!
Sandy: In our county, they are beginning to do that with great success.
DrVicars: Hmmm. Okay well then, time is growing short so let me assign homework. Not
Art: Thank you.
Sandy: Really learned alot again tonight.
Lii: Thank you, and have a great week. :-)
Daniel: Thank you. Have a good night all.
Jessie: Thanks and good night
DrVicars: I'll get the log posted in the Libary, see you all later.
Monica: good night
Closing "Chat Log #6"