Linguistics 7 Syllabus

Linguistics 7 - Sign Language and its Culture

In fall 2003,  the midterm will be held on Monday Nov. 3, 7-9 pm.
AM Class:  Peterson 110, PM Class:  Peterson 108
The final exam will be held on Thursday, Dec. 11, 7-10 pm.
If you cannot be present at the exam times, do not sign up for the course!

Prof Perlmutter: McGill Hall 5342; 534-1151;
Office Hours:  Tues 2-3, Thurs 2:45-3:45, and by appointment
Nicoleta Bateman []
Karen Engel []
Anya Luke-Killam []
TAs' office hours to be announced.

Section A00:  TuTh 9:30-10:50; Center Hall 115;  Section ID# 478154
Section B00:  TuTh 12:30-1:50;  Center Hall 115;   Section ID# 478155
Both sections are taught by Prof. Perlmutter.

1) C. Padden and T. Humphries, Deaf in America (Harvard University Press, 1988). [Paperback in bookstore; if sold out under LIGN7, look under LISL1A/AX or Communication COCU120.]
2) Reader (xeroxed material) available at Postal Plus, 4130 La Jolla Village Dr. (452-9933)
3) Class book (xeroxed material) available at Postal Plus, 4130 La Jolla Village Dr. (452-9933)
The reader and class book will be for sale outside the classroom after both the morning and afternoon classes on Thursday Sept. 25 and Tuesday Sept 30.  After that they can be bought at Postal Plus.
Always bring your class book to class!

Web questions
Each week you will have a set of questions to answer on the web.  They are based largely on the readings for that week.
Web questions will appear each Friday at 9 am and will be taken off the following Thursday at 9 pm.  Do not wait until Thursday evening to do them!  When lots of people try to get on the system at once, it gets overloaded.  You may do the entire assignment and then find that when you click "Submit" it doesn't register.

Beginning on the Friday before weeks 3, 4, and 8 there will be special exercises to do on the web followed by tutorials to discuss them.  Questions similar to those included in the exercises discussed at these tutorials will be included on the exams.  First do the exercises on the web.  Bring the printout showing that you have done them when you attend one of the tutorials.

How grades are calculated:  Weekly web questions 10%, Midterm exam 40%, Final exam 50%
How to succeed in Ling. 7:
1.  Attend class.
2.  Do the readings.
3.  Do the weekly homework assignments on the web.
4.  In weeks 3, 4, and 8, do the exercises for the tutorials held in those weeks.
5.  In weeks 3, 4, and 8, attend and participate in one of the tutorials to discuss the exercises.
6.  If you are having difficulty, see one of the TAs in her office hours.
7.  Attend one of the review sessions before the midterm, and one before the final.
8.  After the midterm, go over your midterm with one of the TAs in their office hours.  See what you got right, what you got wrong, and learn from your mistakes.
How to fail Ling. 7:
Do not do 1-8 above.  To ensure success, you should do all of 1-8.
The homework assignments, exercises, and tutorials are provided to help you get a better grade.


The readings should be read after the class under which they are listed.

Class 1:  Are all languages descended from a single ancestral language?  Three mysteries of language.  The Great Experiment.  What does it take to be Deaf?
Padden and Humphries, Ch. 1 (Learning to be Deaf)
Padden and Humphries, Ch. 3 (A Different Center)
[Video in class: Selection from Bonnie Kraft]

Class 2: Who are the Deaf?  The Gallaudet Revolution of 1988.
Selections from H. Lane, R. Hoffmeister, and B. Bahan, A Journey into the DEAF-WORLD (Dawn Sign Press, 1996), pp. 5-26 in reader
Padden and Humphries, Deaf in America, Ch. 2 (Images of Being)
Illustrations: The Signing Space, pp. 1-2 in class book
Video in class: Deaf President Now!

Class 3: Is sign language indigenous to Deaf communities?  Are signs universal natural gestures?  Do signs stand for English words?
Illustrations of signs and sign components in ASL & other sign languages, pp. 3-15 in class book
Harry Markowicz, "Myths about American Sign Language," pp. 1-4 in reader
How did the hearing world discover sign language?  Pp. 27-38 in reader:
Harlan Lane, Introduction to H. Lane (ed.), The Deaf Experience (Harvard Univ. Press, 1984)
Selection from Jean Massieu, in Lane, The Deaf Experience
[Video in class: Selection from "Ridicule"]

Class 4:  Do Deaf people learn language by reading lips?
The Sounds of Speech, pp. 16-18 in class book
Articulation and Description of English Consonants, pp. 19-25 in class book
Exercises on English consonants for Week 3 tutorials, pp. 26-28 in class book

Class 5:  What is the difference between gestures and signs?
Pp. 44-54 in class book
Battison, Robbin (1980) "Signs Have Parts: A Simple Idea," in Charlotte Baker and Robbin Battison (eds.) (1980) Sign Language and the Deaf Community, National Association of the Deaf, Silver Spring, MD, pp. 86-94 in reader
These readings should be read now:
Padden and Humphries, Deaf in America, Ch. 4 (Living in Others' World)
Padden & Humphries, Deaf in America, Ch. 6 (The Meaning of Sound), pp. 91-104.

Week 3: Tutorials to discuss the exercises on articulation of English consonants

Class 6:  Clues for the Great Experiment:  Did sign languages originate and develop independently of spoken languages?  How has sign language been passed on across the generations?
Illustrations: Historical change, cognates, verb-noun pairs in ASL, French SL, & SLN, pp. 29-43 in class  book
J. Van Cleve and B. Crouch, A Place of their Own, Ch. 4 (A Permanent School), pp. 39-48 in reader
J. Van Cleve and B. Crouch, A Place of their Own, Ch. 7 (A College), pp. 49-56 in reader

Class 7:  What kind of vocabulary does a language have?
Lexical categories, pp. 55-60 in class book
The Minimal Units of Meaning: Morphemes, pp. 61-64 in class book
Exercises for tutorials on English affixation and morphology, pp. 65-71 in class book
A verb-noun pair in ASL, p. 72 in class book
C. Padden & D. Perlmutter, "Rules of Derivational Morphology," pp. 73-79 in class book

Week 4: Tutorials to discuss the exercises on English affixation ("What kind of vocabulary does a language have?")

Class 8:  Referring in English and ASL  (Pronouns)
Personal Pronouns in English and ASL, p. 80 in class book
D. Perlmutter, "The Language of the Deaf,"  pp. 95-98 in reader
J. Van Cleve and B. Crouch, A Place of their Own, Ch. 10 (The Assault on Sign Language), pp. 57-67 in reader
Richard G. Brill, "The International Convention of 1880," in International Congresses on Education of the Deaf, An Analytical History 1878-1980 (Gallaudet University Press, 1984), pp. 68-76 in reader
Van Cleve & Crouch, A Place of their Own, Ch. 11 (The Struggle to Save Signs), pp. 77-83 in reader
Video:  George Veditz, "The Preservation of the Sign Language" (National Association of the Deaf film, 1913), English translation pp. 84-85 in reader

Class 9:  How much can a sign express?
KNOW: A non-inflecting verb, GIVE: An inflecting verb in ASL, pp. 81-82 in class book
Temporal inflections of ASL verbs, pp. 83-84 in class book

Week 5:  Review sessions for midterm exam Weds and Thurs, 7 pm

Class 10: Why don't signers watch each other's hands?  How different is ASL sentence structure from English?
Grammatical facial expressions in ASL and SLN, pp. 88-90 in class book
Chart: Family tree of Indo-European languages, p. 91 in class book
Video in class:  Selection from interview with Bonnie Kraft

The midterm exam covers everything up to this point in the syllabus.

Class 11:  Why does it matter whether sign languages are languages?  How many times has the Great Experiment been performed?  Are the results the same every time?
[Video from "60 Minutes:" Judy Kegl in Nicaragua]

Week 6:  Midterm exam on Monday Nov. 3, 7-9 pm.  AM class in Peterson 110, PM class in Peterson 108.

Readings for Week 6:
Selections from Nora Groce, Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language, pp. 99-125 in reader
Robert Johnson, "Sign Language and the Concept of Deafness in a Traditional Yucatec Mayan Village," in The Deaf Way, pp. 126-133 in reader

Tues. Nov. 4:  NO CLASS

Class 12:  How different is ASL sentence structure from English? Classifier constructions and role shift in ASL
Videos:  Classifier constructions,  "The Baseball Game" by Ella Mae Lentz;  Stories by Bonnie Kraft

Readings for Week 7:
Lars Wallin, "The Study of Sign Language in Society: Part Two," in The Deaf Way, pp. 134-146 in reader
Michiko Tsuchiya, "The Deaf Japanese and their Self-Identity," in The Deaf Way, pp. 147-150 in reader
Anwar Shamshudin, "Deaf Culture in Pakistan," in The Deaf Way, pp. 151-153 in reader
Assumpta Naniwe, "The Deaf Child in Burundi Society," in The Deaf Way, pp. 154-160 in reader


Class 13: What kind of language can children just "pick up?" Can deaf children pick up English through artificial sign systems? Comparing ASL and SEE2.  The concept "natural language"
Illustrations of SEE2 signs, pp. 92-101 in class book
Personal pronouns in English and ASL, p. 102 in class book
Personal pronouns in English and SEE2, pp. 103-105 in class book

Readings for Week 8:
Padden and Humphries, Deaf in America, Ch. 5 (A Changing Consciousness), pp. 71-81.
Padden and Humphries, Deaf in America, Ch. 7 ("Historically Created Lives").
Carol Padden, "Folk Explanation in Language Survival," in David Middleton (ed.) Collective Remembering (Sage, Los Angeles, 1990), pp. 161-167 in reader.
Ben Bahan, "Bird of a Different Feather," pp. 168-177 in reader

Week 8 Tutorials:  Structural differences between ASL and English;  Structural differences between SEE2 and both ASL and English

Class 14: Where does language come from? How are new languages born?
BBC Horizon video in class: The birth of Nicaraguan Sign Language

Class 15: Guest Lectures
Prof. Carol Padden,  Dept. of Communication, UCSD
Prof. Tom Humphries, Teacher Education Program & Dept. of Communication, UCSD

Readings for Weeks 9 & 10
Fant, Louie (1980) "Drama and Poetry in Sign Language: A Personal Reminiscence," in Baker and Battison (1980), pp. 178-182 in reader
Padden and Humphries, Deaf in America, Ch. 5 (A Changing Consciousness), pp. 81-90.
Padden and Humphries, Deaf in America, Ch. 6 (The Meaning of Sound), pp. 104-109.
Clayton Valli, "How I Came to Write Poetry," pp. 183-184 in reader
Excerpt from:  D. Perlmutter, "Poetic Form in American Sign Language Poetry:  Clayton Valli's 'Deaf World'," pp. 185-199 in reader.

Class 16:  Form and Meaning in Poetry  (What is the relation between a poem's form and its meaning?)
Some non-rhyming poems in English, pp. 107-108 in class book
The Relation between Form and Meaning: "Leopard," p. 106 in class book
Clayton Valli, "About 'The Hands'," p. 109 in class book

Week 10:  Review sessions for final exam Weds & Thurs 7 pm

Classes 17, 18: Poetry in ASL
Class 17:  Study Guide for final exam
Analysis of Clayton Valli's poem "Deaf World (p. 110 in class book)
Videotapes: Works by Deaf poets Dorothy Miles, Ella Mae Lentz, Patrick Graybill, and Clayton Valli
1) Poetry in Motion : Poetry of Patrick Graybill and Clayton Valli (Sign Media, Inc.)
2) American Culture: The Deaf Perspective (San Francisco Public Library)
3) Selected Poems by Clayton Valli (Dawn Pictures)
4) The Treasure, Poems by Ella Mae Lentz (In Motion Press)
English translations in class book:
Patrick Graybill, "About 'Paradox'," "Paradox"  [pp. 111-112 in class book]
Clayton Valli, "Deaf World," "Lone Sturdy Tree," "Snowflake"  [pp. 113 and 114-115 in class book]
The final exam covers ALL readings, lectures, videos, and films in the course. It is cumulative.

Back to additional links for students considering Ling. 7 for Fall 2003