The Sign Language As I Know It

Give me back my language the way I signed it
when I was young.

Give me back my language the way it used to
be– before linguists “discovered” it and
conferred a new name on it.

Give me back my language the way I learned
from my deaf parents, from their deaf friends,
from my teachers, both deaf and hearing.

Give me back my language the way I remember
how the deaf storytellers role-modeled it to me.

Give me back my language without any of those
rules, restrictions, impositions, or fixed
boundaries that the linguists established for it.

Give me back my language that has a great
potential for change and growth.

Give me back my language which is very much
part of who I am.

– Bernard Bragg



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