LINGUIST List 2.659

Mon 14 Oct 1991

Disc: Sign Language, Anymore

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  1. Karen Christie, Re: 2.623 On Becoming Bilingual
  2. , ASL Literature
  3. "Bruce E. Nevin", any more anymore?

Message 1: Re: 2.623 On Becoming Bilingual

Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1991 19:37 EST
From: Karen Christie <>
Subject: Re: 2.623 On Becoming Bilingual
I would like to respond to the query regarding teaching deaf children in Spain.
I am bilingual in ASL and English, also I am a Deaf teacher of English here at
The 'tendencies' that are mentioned carry with it tremendous assumptions.
I would like to present another viewpoint for you to consider in the goal of
having deaf children learn more than one language.
-When priority is given to verbal communication, deaf children are deprived the
right to a fully accessible first language. I argue for teaching the child
first the language of the deaf community in that area that deaf people
'retreat' to after leaving school. Although it is likely that the children do
learn this banned language in the bathrooms and hallways of the school, they
are not given formal instruction in the language. Jim Cummins and Marcel
Danesi have written an enlightening chapter in their book on Heritage Languages
(1990). In this chapter, they argue for using ASL a the language of
instruction and teaching about the culture of Deaf people to encourage academic
This is not to say that the spoken language should not be taught. Although the
focus should probably remain on teaching the written language of the majority
culture, it is precisely in learning the spoken language for communication
where it 'depends on the capabilities of the child.' Learning language for
deaf children has not been so much a problem as being exposed to a fully
accessible first language.
As for case studies, I have a few students here from Spanish-speaking homes who
can speak Spanish, English, and sign ASL. At the school for the deaf where I
used to teach, students were taught to read and write in a second language
(spanish) with about the same success as the public high school spanish courses
(except, of course, they also learned to speak spanish).
Thus, if you are interested in teaching a second language (whether it be
written or spoken), it seems the best way to do that is to ensure that the
students have competnecy in their first language (e.g a signed language).
You might consider how the deaf adults communicate with Spanish and Basque
speakers. What are their needs socially and economically related to these two
groups? If a deaf child came from a Basque family, it seems unfairly oppressive
to decide to teach them Spanish only.
Thanks for the opportunity to respond. Here are some other references:
Cummins, J. 1980. The cross-lingual dimension s of language proficiency:
Implications for bilingual education and the optimal age issue. TESOL
Quarterly 14 (2) 175-187.
Lane, H. (to be published) The mask of benevolence: Biopower and the Deaf
Newport, EL (1984). Constranins on learning: Studies in the acquisition of
American Sign Language. Papers and reports in Child Language and Development,
23, 1-22.
Model Progams at: Indiana School for the Deaf, California School for the Deaf,
Fremont, and The Learning Center in Framingham, MA. I'd be happy to provide
other references.
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Message 2: ASL Literature

Date: Thu, 10 Oct 91 12:15 PST
Subject: ASL Literature
RE: ASL Literature
 It is a popular belief that ASL does not have any literature. However,
this claim is based on the misconception that in order for a language to have
a literature, that language must posses a formal writing system. In fact,
many non-written languages in the world have a rich oral literature. Several
researchers in the field of sign language studies are investigating the
"oral" literature of ASL (e.g. Sam Supalla, U of Arizona; Clayton Valli,
Gallaudet U.; and Ben Bahan who, believe it or not, is at BU!)
 In fact, the nature and characteristics of ASL literature will be
discussed in a session at the upcoming conference titled "Theoretical Issues
in Sign Language Research" to be held in San Diego, August 5 - 8, 1992. Sam
Supalla who is an expert on ASL narrative and storytelling will chair the
session which will discuss (among other things) what it means to have an
"oral" literature, how ASL literacy compares with English literacy, and the
structure of ASL narratives, poetry, and song. Watch for a postings here on
the net which will provide conference details and list the other session topics.
Karen Emmorey
Conference Chair
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Message 3: any more anymore?

Date: Fri, 11 Oct 91 10:13:16 EDT
From: "Bruce E. Nevin" <>
Subject: any more anymore?
Scott Delancey writes:
>I'm also puzzled by the puzzlement that
>some people express about the meaning of positive anymore--isn't it
>exactly the same as the meaning anymore in negative contexts, minus
>the negation?
 Do you want some more? I want some more.
 Don't you want some more? ?I don't want some more.
				 [I don't want "some more". <sarcasm>]
 Don't you want any more? I don't want any more.
 Do you want any more? *I want any more.
Isn't the meaning of "any" in the starred sentence exactly the same as
in the corresponding negative contexts, minus the negation? If one's
dialect has a discontinuous morpheme including negation, not ... any,
then the question makes no sense.
Similarly, for those whose dialect has a discontinuous morpheme
including negation, not ... anymore (where the not may be lost if the
effect of negation is carried by some other form), the question makes no
(The connection between any and any more > anymore (American spelling) is
fairly direct, I should think.
 I don't want it anymore. I don't want it on any more occasions.
More on this below.)
The situation is more complex than positive vs. negative anymore.
Examples from Webster's 9th New Collegiate (W9NCD):
Regular in negative contexts:
	No one can be natural anymore --Mae Sarton
in yes/no interrogative contexts (also negative):
	Do you read much anymore?
in conditional contexts:
	If you do that anymore, I'll leave
and in "certain positive constructions":
	The Washingtonian is too sophisticated to believe any more in
	solutions --Russell Baker.
For all of these, a verbose alternative like "for any more time" or "on
any more occasions" works fine.
	No one can be natural in any more [social] situations.
	Do you read much on any more occasions [of leisure]?
	If you do that any more times, I'll leave.
	The Washingtonian is too sophisticated to believe in
 	 solutions any more occasions.
W9NCD gives sense 2 "at the present time: NOW" with example "hardly a
day passes without rain anymore," and adds the usage comment:
 In some regions the use of anymore in sense 2 is quite common in
 positive constructions <listening is a rare art anymore! --Alma
 Holland (_Writer's Digest_)> <In a way he almost felt sorry for him,
 any more (James Jones)> While most common in Midland settlement
 areas of the U.S., this usage is also found in other areas. It has
 been noted at least since the 19th century in England and may be of
 British dialectal origin <`Quite absurd,' he said. `Suffering bores
 me, any more.' --D.H. Lawrence>
For these examples, I can with a struggle get a verbose alternative to
 ?*Hardly a day passes without rain on any more occasions.
 ?Listening is a rare art in any more situations.
 ??In a way he almost felt sorry for him, on any more occasions of
 seeing/hearing him.
 ?Suffering bores me, in any more experiences of it.
I would say that the reduction from some such verbose form to "anymore"
has been conventionalized in some dialects, but not in mine.
Maybe some positive anymore native speakers can come up with verbose
paraphrases of this sort that seem natural to them, and provide the rest
of us a clue or two. From your question, I guess that you are a native
speaker, Scott?
	Bruce Nevin
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