Thursday, November 17, 2016

Wikipedia article of the day for November 18, 2016

The Wikipedia article of the day for November 18, 2016 is Black American Sign Language.
Black American Sign Language (BASL) is a dialect of American Sign Language (ASL), usually encountered among deaf African Americans. The divergence from ASL was influenced largely by segregation in the American South. Like other schools at the time, schools for the deaf were segregated by race, creating two language communities: White deaf signers at White schools and Black deaf signers at Black schools. Today, BASL is still used by signers in the South despite the gradual desegregation of deaf schools after 1954, the year of the US Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision declaring racial segregation in schools unconstitutional. Linguistically, BASL differs from other varieties of ASL in its phonology, syntax, and lexicon. In ASL, most signs are produced near the body, but BASL tends to have a larger signing space. Signers of BASL also tend to prefer two-handed variants of signs while signers of ASL tend to prefer one-handed variants. Some signs are different in BASL as well, with some borrowings from African American English.

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