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ASL Grammar vs. ASL Linguistics:

Also see: ASL Grammar

Question: What is the difference between ASL grammar and ASL linguistics?

Answer: That is like asking what is the difference between a hand and an arm. The difference between ASL grammar and ASL linguistics is that ASL linguistics is the whole of which ASL grammar is a part. ASL grammar is a subset of ASL linguistics.

ASL grammar is the rules for how to communicate in American Sign Language.

ASL Linguistics is the scientific study of American Sign Language as a whole.

ASL grammar is more prescriptive.

ASL linguistics is more descriptive.

ASL grammar is more focused.

ASL linguistics is broader.

ASL grammar focuses on the structure and formation of sentences in American Sign Language.

ASL linguistics has many areas of focus beyond the structure and formation of sentences including but not limited to how ASL has changed over time, how signs are produced, what signs mean; how context, preexisting knowledge, social status, and intent influence the meaning of ASL communication, and other sub-topics.

ASL grammar focuses on syntax which has to do with sign order (or sequencing).

ASL linguistics generally includes phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, etc.

ASL grammar can include phonology and morphology to the extent that they related to syntax.

ASL linguistics includes studying phonology and morphology (and other sub-topics) as either individual or integrated areas of study.

ASL linguistics has a clear, simple, very encompassing boundary:
It is the study of all things related to ASL.

ASL grammar is often over generalized and has fuzzy boundaries that change wildly depending on what you read or which expert to whom you pay attention.





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