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Do any languages use words like particles to represent commas, periods, hyphens, quotes, parentheses, etc.?

Wondering if any languages use words, particles, or other speakable markers to represent punctuation like periods, commas, hyphens, quotes, parentheses, question marks, exclamation marks, or ...
Draconis's user avatar
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22 votes
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Can you rhyme words in sign language?

Absolutely yes, sign languages have rhymes and poetry and rhythm. All are based on modifying the prose form (normal, non-special daily use form) of the language to create heightened sensation - ...
Tomato's user avatar
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18 votes
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Do two deaf persons from different countries understand each other?

Probably not. According the Ethnologue entry for Russian Sign Language: Reported historical connections to sign languages in Austria and France, but not obvious from extensive wordlist comparison (...
J. Siebeneichler's user avatar
16 votes

Do two deaf persons from different countries understand each other?

No. There are many sign languages that are mutually incomprehensible. It can even occur that the sign languages of countries with the same official language (e.g., English or Spanish) are mutually ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
16 votes

Can you rhyme words in sign language?

Briefly, yes. This page gives a nice introduction to the ASL analogs. As with spoken language, you do this based on physical similarity, in the case of ASL the handshape, location, palm orientation, ...
user6726's user avatar
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15 votes

When people converse in sign language, why do they make whispering sounds?

Usually when we sign* we use our mouths to mouthe a word. This can be used to disambiguate certain lexemes (for example, divorce and ex-spouse have the same sign in ASL, so one way to clarify which ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
15 votes

Is American Sign Language phonetic?

Do you mean can you know how to sign a word in American Sign Language by reading it in English? Well no, because the two languages are not really that similar. Sign languages are not transformations ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
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12 votes

Do any languages use words like particles to represent commas, periods, hyphens, quotes, parentheses, etc.?

Latin has a spoken marker for yes-and-no questions, though it is not placed at the end of the question, but at the topic word: -ne
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
10 votes

Do different languages use different sign language?

Yes, and no. There are many different sign lanuages in the world, and they have a tree of descent just as spoken languages do. But there is very little connection between the sign language and the ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
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10 votes
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Does your brain make a distinction between vocal and non-vocal language?

Spoken and signed languages are distinguished in the brain in different ways. From the perspective of perception, spoken language is processed in the cochlear nucleus of the brainstem and then the ...
user6726's user avatar
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10 votes
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Why is sign language different from spoken language?

Sign languages are true natural human languages, so the first misconception to overcome is that anyone has the power to control it like the question suggests. We can set conventional spellings in a ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
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10 votes

Is American Sign Language phonetic?

It appears you are (implicitly) asking about Sutton Sign Writing. If you don't know the system, obviously you can't learn a new sign. It's not clear how many signers know the system, but it appears ...
user6726's user avatar
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10 votes

Do any languages use words like particles to represent commas, periods, hyphens, quotes, parentheses, etc.?

It's not so much that languages use particles to represent punctuation, but that some particles can perform the same function as punctuation. It is hard to imagine that this would not go hand in hand ...
Keelan's user avatar
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8 votes
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Do different languages use different sign language?

I think the Original Poster might be of the widely held belief that sign language translates 'actual' spoken language into signs. For example, one could envisage a system where the sentence she is at ...
Araucaria - him's user avatar
8 votes
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Is there a term for ASL signs for related concepts that share the same motion and are distinguished by initialization?

I've never learned a term for this and I can't think of a direct analogy in English. This kind of word formation is much more productive in ASL (and in sign languages generally) than in English (and ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
7 votes

Are there signed languages that have a case system?

Sign languages generally do not have rich case systems because they tend to be much more head-marking than, say, English. By this I mean that a translation of your Latin sentences into a hypothetical ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
7 votes
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Do sign languages have words?

wondering if sign language has the concept of words, The notion of "wordhood" is fluid enough that we can make either of the following claims: a sign is equivalent to a word a sign translates to a ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
7 votes

Is American Sign Language phonetic?

I think part of the issue here is that you’re comparing ASL - which has several non-concatenative (I.e. simultaneous) elements - to spoken languages, which have more limitations as far as that’s ...
Dan's user avatar
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7 votes
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Is mouthing phonemic in American Sign Language or other sign languages?

One example is the fact that divorce and ex are signed the same. So you can distinguish the two by actually mouthing the English word. Another example is that for example write carelessly and write ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
6 votes

Do any languages use words like particles to represent commas, periods, hyphens, quotes, parentheses, etc.?

Biblical Hebrew, which traditionally was written with very little punctuation, often uses what we call a word (usually translated to "and") but is actually a prefix (ו־ – Hebrew is right-to-...
Adám's user avatar
  • 299
5 votes

When people converse in sign language, why do they make whispering sounds?

If I may add to Wilson's very good answer; another reason may occur when a Deaf person has also been educated orally. One of my Auslan teachers was educated orally and only learned sign language in ...
Yutenji's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
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Would Saussure consider sign language as "parole"?

In the 1960’s, the linguist William Stokoe showed that the American Sign Language is a full fledged language, and subsequent linguistic studies confirmed that sign languages share all the ...
Frédéric Grosshans's user avatar
5 votes
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Do sign languages have "accents" like verbal languages?

If we define 'accent' to mean a distinctive manner of expressing language characteristic of a particular group(s) then I would say that the answer to your question is yes. All that would be required ...
Mithrandir's user avatar
5 votes
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Are there literate speech communities for Sign Languages?

Yes. – However these communities are quite small. There seem to be active groups on Facebook for ASLWrite (315 members) and another for Sutton SignWriting (442 members). Sutton SignWriting is also ...
zrajm's user avatar
  • 164
5 votes

comprehensive reference grammar on any sign language

For British Sign Language I know of the following books: "The Linguistics of British Sign Language: An Introduction" by Rachel Sutton-Spence and Benzi Woll. The grammar section in the introduction to ...
Stephen F's user avatar
  • 181
5 votes

comprehensive reference grammar on any sign language

I don't think there are many signed or spoken languages with a truly comprehensive reference grammar. The best descriptive grammar that I know of for Auslan is this publication by Adam Schembri The ...
Gaston Ümlaut's user avatar
5 votes
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Has the ‘chereme’ fallen out of vogue as an emic unit?

First, I'd just like to clarify that the chereme is not “the emic unit” for signed languages, but rather the signed version of a phoneme — which indeed is exactly the cause for what you noticed. Due ...
Tuesday's user avatar
  • 186
5 votes

What gave rise to the manual alphabet for Latin characters in Japanese Sign Language?

Atypically for a sign language, many JSL morphemes are derived in some way from the writing of the society's spoken language (I could suggest that's because Japanese has quite an unusual way of ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
5 votes

Can Native Americans of different linguistic background still communicate using sign language?

Even assuming you're only talking about North America, the answer is no. There are about 300 indigenous languages reliably attested (depending how you count them), some of which are related but many ...
Draconis's user avatar
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4 votes

Idioms in Sign Languages

For a non-ASL example as requested: I don't know the Brazilian sign language (Libras) at all, but it was easy to find articles claiming that yes, they have idioms distinct from Brazilian Portuguese. ...
melissa_boiko's user avatar

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