American Sign Language Video Dictionary
Exhibit Code: SAU-105
Zone: RIT Central
Location: Student Alumni Union (SAU/004) - Fireside Lounge
Time: All Day
Sign languages are three dimensional, dynamic languages. The signs of American Sign Language (ASL) – its words – bend, change, combine and dance to convey a beautiful array of meanings and stories. The sign “work,” for example, is changed in motion and other aspects to mean work for a long time, work hard, work distractedly, etc.; afternoon, all afternoon, and every afternoon are all shown with the same sign, which is changed to convey these different meanings. Because of this, the standard dictionary concept doesn't work with sign languages. A book with one language's words shown next to their translations in another language cannot show these changes, called inflections. The ASL Video Dictionary and Inflection Guide, produced at NTID, is an innovative departure. It uses video clips of people demonstrating 2, 700 signs, plus 650 video sentences showing how the signs change to convey various meanings. The sentences also include the full range of ASL grammar. This exhibit enables people to take a guided tour of the dictionary, and also to play around with it, see how ASL sentences are put together, and explore the beautiful and creative language of ASL. The dictionary is available both on CD and as an online program at http://www.ntid.rit.edu/dictionary.
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