here's (apparently) the most well-known asl translation of jabberwocky, btw and it is AMAZING and an essay about it which points out that "[a]s deaf education grew in 17th and 18th century Europe, the rational structure of the spoken and written word supplanted gestural expressions [...] such developments were not limited to sign languages, as numerous bourgeois societies developed taboos against excessive gesturing during speech"

... which for me calls to mind the way that computational representations of language (spoken, written or signed) often try to overwrite the multidimensional & embodied nature of language with one-dimensional abstractions that reduce all language to a list of symbols

(note that I really don't know the first thing about ASL, I'm just thinking & trying to educate myself out loud here)

@aparrish And yet signed languages resist this, insofar as positional and transitional features of signed language impart markedly differing symbolic content to any series of gestural signs.

The dimensions of anatomical space and contours of movement in their relation to cheremes might be thought of in comparison to pitch in tonal languages. Yet the latter has been reduced to tonemes, in a way that the position-transition-chereme complex has not been rendered single-dimensional (TTBOMK).

@aparrish oh gosh I love this. It's the first poem I learned to recite and it really brings back memories!

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