Friday, January 27, 2012

I Am SERIOUSLY Having A Geek Freak Out Right Now!!!

Ahhhh, a new semester. New books, new assignments, new challenges. Cold, wet air. It wouldn't be spring semester in Bloomsburg if it weren't cold and wet. Anyway, for my final semester I have to write a research paper for practicum seminar (or transliteration...same professor, hard to keep the two classes straight. This paper could totally be for transliteration but I'm pretty sure its for practicum seminar).  So, I asked my advisor if I could write a paper on the influence of LSF (langue des signes française) on ASL (American Sign Language) from a linguistic point of view. This is a topic I have been interested in for a long time. History is very important to me, and for those of you who do not know the story of how ASL came to be, la langue des signes française was brought to America by two men. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc.  As a speaker of English, ASL and French this story is even more important to me.
                 So, now that I have my advisor's blessing, I set out looking for resources to write my amazing paper. Since this is a story that begins in Paris in the early 1700's, I figure I had better start in France before I look to America for resources. So I am browsing the LSF sur le web from Université Paris 8 (who have a lovely LSF program that I would looooove to attend one day) which was set up by a group of LSF students.  So I'm reading about the history of the first school for the deaf in Paris and I'm reading about l’Abbé de l’Epée, and his "Signes Méthodiques" which is basically the sign system he came up with to educate the deaf.  So I am thinking, "wouldn't it be just amazing if  l’Abbé de l’Epée wrote a book about Signes Méthodiques?" I am thinking that this would be too amazing to be true, but regardless I do a search to see if  l’Abbé de l’Epée ever wrote a book recording his signes méthodiques. Well what do you know? He did. in November 1775 l’Abbé de l’Epée published a book called Institution des sourds et muets, par la voie des signes méthodiques OMG!!!!! Some genius in some library in Paris scanned this book page by page into google books. I AM SO EXCITED!!! Oh, and it gets better. So as I am excitedly reading this 237 year-old book, and I am thinking..."I wish I had a copy of this." Then I see in the side bar "Get this Book in Print" EXCELLENT. So Google e-books leads me to this tiny bookstore in New York City that is willing to print it and mail it to me for less than $20. MY LIFE IS COMPLETE!!!!!!!!!!  So, basically, I am pretty much SET for writing the best research paper EVER WRITTEN. So that's my story:) Age of the geek!!!!


  1. Now I'm freaking out too!! I love history and finding out more about the beginnings of ASL. My French is weak, but I haven't completely given up. Ha!

    I don't know if you have already completed this research, I hope I am not too late! I just found our blog. :o) A couple other resources out there (if you can get a hold of them) -
    Parallel views: education and access for deaf people in France and the United States
    Gallaudet University Press, 1994
    ISBN 1-56368-030-0

    This can give a glimpse to how things have evolved in more current times. (Current being a relative term!) If you can't get ahold of this book locally, maybe a field trip to Gally or RIT may help? This book wouldn't take long to look over for the information you want out of it. I checked it out with the library I have at work.

    Signes et institution des sourds: XVIIIe-XIXe siècle, By Jean-René Presneau
    champ Vallon, 1998
    ISBN 2-87673-263-7 (Some pages are displayed in Google Books)

    The author credited was born in 1947, and I believe the material written was mostly a compliation of information from the 18th and 19th century. The conclusion focuses on how the Milan conference affected education from 1880 to 1900.

    Good Luck with your research!

  2. WOW! Your blog is awesome! And you know how to sign in french that's awesome! I took French in school. Mainly because I think the language is beautiful and because my grandmother was a professional document translator. So I figured it ran in the family.
    However, I learned a few words, but not much stuck. But Oh well. I think your signing in French is awesome! Good Luck with Everything!