Research Article


DOI :10.26650/LITERA2020-0103   IUP :10.26650/LITERA2020-0103    Full Text (PDF)

Visual Expressions Used to Represent Sentence Structures in French Sign Language

Ertan Kuşçu

An individual who proficiently uses communication skills does so by referring to either oral, written or bodily language, with the latter allowing information, emotions or thoughts to be conveyed in the most correct and effective way when words are insufficient. In general, individuals throughout history have faced deafness and hearing loss, resulting in the use of sign language to communicate with the outside world. This was apparent in Europe prior to the 18th century, when such individuals were isolated and forced to create their own sign languages. Thus, the purpose of this study is three-fold: 1) to explain French sign language, its historical periods and structure, while theoretically researching and drawing on the latest resources; 2) to explain its syntactical and structural differences from oral French by examining short dialogs and drawn images; and 3) to highlight the differences between sentence structures in French sign language [e.g., free order or object-verb-subject (OVS)) and that of oral French (subject-verb-object (SVO)]. Based on the findings, although French sign language is visio-gestural, it can be effectively used to perform all functions in oral French.

DOI :10.26650/LITERA2020-0103   IUP :10.26650/LITERA2020-0103    Full Text (PDF)

Expression visuelle de la structure des phrases en langue des signes française

Ertan Kuşçu

L’homme qui utilise les compétences de communication de la manière la plus compétente sur terre le fait en se référant soit au langage oral, soit à l’écrit ou au soit corporel. Cette dernière permet de transmettre l’information, l’émotion ou la pensée de la manière la plus correcte et efficace quand les mots sont insuffisants pendant la communication à chaque instant de la vie quotidienne. D’un côté, certaines réalités telles que la surdité et la perte auditive ont été les situations que les hommes rencontrent tout au long de l’histoire, donc, la langue des signes appelée parfois, la langue des sourds ou des sourds-muets, est utilisée par les sourds et les malentendants. D’autre côté, ces personnes isolées de la société jusqu’au XVIIIe siècle en Europe, n’ont pas pu enrichir leurs langues et leurs vocabulaires, mais de nos jours, elles ont leur propre langue. Dans ce travail, tout d’abord, nous avons tenté de viser à expliquer la langue des signes française, ses périodes historiques et sa structure tout en recherchant théoriquement et en nous appuyant sur les ressources les plus récentes. Puis, sa structure syntaxique diffère du français oral, a été essayé d’expliquer par les dialogues courts accompagnés par les images dessinées. Ensuite, nous avons souligné la différence entre la structure de la langue des signes française (ordre libre ou OVS) et celle du français oral (SVO). Enfin, nous avons remarqué que les langues des signes, bien qu’elles soient des langues visiogestuelles, assurent toutes les fonctions remplies par les langues orales. 


EXTENDED ABSTRACT


According to their origins, languages can be divided into two categories: natural languages (both spoken and sign languages) such as Turkish and French; and artificial languages such as Esperanto. In general, individuals who do not suffer from hearing loss generally use both spoken and body languages. However, for those who have a hearing loss, a visual form of communication also known as “sign language” or “deafmute language” is indispensable. In this regard, the current number of individuals with hearing loss is significant. Although a vast majority of them faced difficulties adapting to social life due to their lack of education, recent developments in the field of education have enabled them to acquire better education and improve their everyday lives. Additionally, with the formulation of various undergraduate and graduate programs, many sign languages studies have been published over the past few decades. In fact, there are 2,460 scientific publications (from 1990 to 2013) on sign languages in the Web of Science database (TID, 2005, p. 48).

In Europe until the 18th century, individuals suffering from hearing loss were isolated from society, thus forcing them to create their own form of communication. In France, C. Michel de l’Épée was the first to work on French sign language (LSF or Langue des Signes Française), after discovering its existence. According to the widely known story, he witnessed twin deaf girls on a street in Paris communicating with one another by making a series of signs. Subsequently, he established a school for the deaf and developed a system of “methodical signs” to teach students how to read and write. After the French Revolution, this school became the National Institute of the Young Deaf.

Overall, the main elements of effective and correct communication in LSF are signs, just as words are for an oral language. These signs consist of five separate parameters: configuration, orientation, movement, location, and facial expressions. According to the context, they must be correctly performed to accurately signify the word; however, the latest resources; 2) to explain its syntactical and structural differences from oral French by examining short dialogs and drawn images; and 3) to highlight the differences between sentence structures in French sign language [e.g., free order or object-verb-subject (OVS)) and that of oral French (subject-verb-object (SVO)]. Based on the findings, although French sign language is visio-gestural, it can be effectively used to perform all functions in oral French. Keywords: Communication, body language, French sign language, visio-gestural, signer Kuşçu, E. Litera Volume: 30, Number: 2, 2020 781 if the parameter changes, then another sign is used. Ultimately, facial expressions are included, just as intonations are used for those who can hear. Such expressions that accompany signs also provide information on the form of the sentence (i.e., interrogative, affirmative or question). Moreover, configurations, such as the shape or disposition of the hand, are equally important. In this regard, there are approximately 47 different configurations in LSF, such as the index, thumb, middle finger, etc. For example, in order to say “hello” in LSF, the hand leaves the mouth, while smiling.

As in all languages, LSF includes its own syntax and grammar. However, its syntax differs from that of oral French. In this regard, while French includes a subject-verbobject (SVO) structure, LSF responds in the following order: When? Where? Who? What? For example, in French we say, “The baby sleeps in his cradle,” whereas in LSF, we sign “cradle, baby, sleep.” In literature, this order resembles a theatrical scene in which the “curtain rises” and reveals the statement, after which the audience sees the setting, the characters, and the action. Additionally, in LSF, the sign for “where do you live?” includes two signs: “where,” in which a lateral movement and an interrogative air is used; and “live,” in which we open and close both hands simultaneously. Moreover, to say “I live in Paris,” we make the sign “P” in the center of the hand to symbolize Paris. There are also no conjugations. Thus, to indicate the tense of a verb, we simply bring our hands closer or farther away. As for the past, we place the hands behind the body, whereas for the present and future, we bring the hands in front of the body. Finally, many verbs in LSF can become either multi or unidirectional, while the same sign can be used to indicate two meanings. For example, “campagne: campaign” and “province: province” are shown with the same sign. To summarize, LSF is a natural language that includes the same linguistic features as oral French.


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References

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APA

Kuşçu, E. (2020). Visual Expressions Used to Represent Sentence Structures in French Sign Language. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 30(2), 779-801. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2020-0103


AMA

Kuşçu E. Visual Expressions Used to Represent Sentence Structures in French Sign Language. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies. 2020;30(2):779-801. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2020-0103


ABNT

Kuşçu, E. Visual Expressions Used to Represent Sentence Structures in French Sign Language. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, [Publisher Location], v. 30, n. 2, p. 779-801, 2020.


Chicago: Author-Date Style

Kuşçu, Ertan,. 2020. “Visual Expressions Used to Represent Sentence Structures in French Sign Language.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 30, no. 2: 779-801. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2020-0103


Chicago: Humanities Style

Kuşçu, Ertan,. Visual Expressions Used to Represent Sentence Structures in French Sign Language.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 30, no. 2 (Jan. 2021): 779-801. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2020-0103


Harvard: Australian Style

Kuşçu, E 2020, 'Visual Expressions Used to Represent Sentence Structures in French Sign Language', Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 779-801, viewed 23 Jan. 2021, https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2020-0103


Harvard: Author-Date Style

Kuşçu, E. (2020) ‘Visual Expressions Used to Represent Sentence Structures in French Sign Language’, Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 30(2), pp. 779-801. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2020-0103 (23 Jan. 2021).


MLA

Kuşçu, Ertan,. Visual Expressions Used to Represent Sentence Structures in French Sign Language.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, vol. 30, no. 2, 2020, pp. 779-801. [Database Container], https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2020-0103


Vancouver

Kuşçu E. Visual Expressions Used to Represent Sentence Structures in French Sign Language. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies [Internet]. 23 Jan. 2021 [cited 23 Jan. 2021];30(2):779-801. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2020-0103 doi: 10.26650/LITERA2020-0103


ISNAD

Kuşçu, Ertan. Visual Expressions Used to Represent Sentence Structures in French Sign Language”. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 30/2 (Jan. 2021): 779-801. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2020-0103



TIMELINE


Submitted21.07.2020
Accepted23.11.2020
Published Online24.12.2020

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