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Singapore: The ASL sign for Singapore:
Question: What is the “right” sign for Singapore in ASL?
Answer: The right sign for “Singapore” in ASL is the sign used by the majority of Singaporeans: SINGAPORE-[S-hand-version]. One of the ways languages grow and stay alive is by adopting words or signs from other languages and accepting those words or signs as official words or signs in the local language.
Notes and/or discussion:
Living languages change and evolve. The way ASL signers sign “Singapore” is evolving. Many ASL signers have adopted and use what is now generally regarded as the indigenous sign (the sign used by Singaporeans) for “Singapore” consisting of the circling of a palm-down dominant “S”-hand over the back of and then making contact with the back of the palm down non-dominant flat-hand.
Some ASL signers, (typically those who are not currently aware of how most skilled socially-active Deaf Singaporean SgSL signers prefer to refer to their own country) use an older version of the sign for “Singapore” consisting of a “baby-C”-hand closing twice into a “baby-O”-hand.
As of the year 2020 two different signs for the same concept may be observed in the American Deaf Community -- yet the trend is definitely toward the newer / indigenous “S” hand “island” version of “Singapore.”
The transition to the newer / indigenous version of SINGAPORE however is to some extent slowed by some individuals who mistake or mislabel the indigenous sign for “Singapore” as being “Signed English” (due to the initialization of the sign using an “S” handshape). Yet many of these same individuals sign “Europe” using an “E”-hand. Such individuals may choose to label any particular “initialized signs” as being “Signed English” when it suits their purpose of winning an argument or lobbying for their favorite version of a sign while at the same time conveniently ignoring the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of initialized signs they personally do use and that are commonly regarded as ASL by the majority of ASL signers.
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