Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ITP 230
Course Title:
American Sign Language Linguistics I
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Explores the basic concepts of linguistics as they pertain to ASL. Analyzes and discusses phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, language use, and sociolinguistic structure of ASL. Explores current research in ASL. Prerequisites: Admission into Sign Language Interpretation Program and instructor permission.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of this course students should be able to:

  • Discuss and explain the parallels between structural features of language, particularly English and American Sign Language, for the purpose of defining and demonstrating  that ASL is a language.
  • Analyze and explain linguistics terms such as: phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and others.
  • Collect research data by interviewing several people, analyze the data, and discuss the research findings.
  • Develop linguistic competence with ASL from an analytical-theoretical perspective.
  • Analyze and explain how the structure of ASL is built and how it functions in terms of language usage.

Course Activities and Design

Activities include readings, lectures, cross-cultural activity, discussion, small group problem-solving tasks, and hands-on activities.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will be assessed with homework assignments, quality of data collected during interviews, and written examinations or quizzes.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

This course introduces students to the study of ASL from a linguistics point of view, and covers the following topics:

  • What is "Language" and what do you know when you know a language?
  • Terminology used by linguists when discussing ASL
  • Research and publications by various linguists in the field of ASL linguistics
  • The impact of the research and publications in recognizing ASL as a language
  • Phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, discourse, language use, and facial grammar (e.g. NMS and mouth morphemes) in ASL will be discussed and analyzed in depth to see how the language is formed