[Resources] Myths and misconceptions about Filipino Sign Language (FSL) -Philippine Deaf Resource Center

PHILIPPINE DEAF RESOURCE CENTER
FACT SHEET #1
Myths and misconceptions about Filipino Sign Language (FSL)

Filipino Sign Language is pantomime and body language.

FALSE. Filipino Sign Language is a true language, with complex visual structure like the other over 100 recognized sign languages of the world.

Filipino Sign Language is based on Filipino.
NO. It is the sign language used by Filipinos and its structure has nothing to do at all with spoken or written Filipino.

Filipino Sign Language is recently created.
NOT TRUE. The origins of early signing in the Philippines go back as early as the 1590s in the island of Leyte, antedating contact with foreign languages by over 300 years.

Filipino Sign Language is the same as American Sign Language.
INCORRECT. Filipino Sign Language possesses unique structural features in its phonology, morphology, syntax and discourse.


References:

Philippine Deaf Resource Center & Philippine Federation of the Deaf, 2004a, Part I.
Understanding structure, An Introduction to Filipino Sign Language, Philippine
Deaf Resource Center, Quezon City.
*The series An Introduction to Filipino Sign Language received a citation as one of the Best Philippine Books of 2004 during the 2005 National Book Awards by the Manila Critics Circle.

Abat, R & Martinez, LB 2006, ‘The history of sign language in the Philippines: Piecing
together the puzzle’, paper presented to the 9th Philippine Linguistics Congress.
University of the Philippines, Quezon City, 27 January.

Martinez, LB 2005a, ‘Determining the historical relationship of Filipino Sign Language
and American Sign Language’, paper presented to the Japan Association of Sign
Linguistics, Kyoto, 12 June.

Woodward, J 2006c, ‘Sign language linguistics: An emerging field in Southeast Asia’,
paper presented to the College of Education, University of the Philippines,
Quezon City, 19 September.

Liza B. Martinez, Ph.D.

Director
Philippine Deaf Resource Center
http://www.phildeafres.org / pdrc@phildeafres.org

*Member, Philippine Coalition on the U.N.Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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