American Sign Language uses the face to express vital components of
grammar in addition to the more universal expressions of emotion.
The study of ASL facial expressions has focused mostly on the perception
and categorization of various expression types by signing and
nonsigning subjects. Only a few studies of the production of ASL
facial expression exist, and those rely mainly on descriptions and
comparisons of individual sentences. The purpose of this article is to
present a novel and multilevel approach for the coding and quantification
of ASL facial expressions. The technique combines ASL coding
software with novel postcoding analyses that allow for graphic
depictions and group comparisons of the different facial expression
types. This system enables us to clearly delineate differences in the
production of otherwise similar facial expression types.
Mitchell, Ross E.
Young, Travas A.
Karchmer, Michael A.
This article traces the sources of the estimates of the number of
American Sign Language users in the United States. A variety of
claims can be found in the literature and on the Internet, some of
which have been shown to be unfounded but continue to be cited.
In our search for the sources of the various (mis)understandings, we
have found that all of the data-based estimates of the number of people
who use ASL in the United States have their origin in a single
study published in the early 1970s, which inquired about signing in
general and not ASL use in particular. There has been neither subsequent
research to update these estimates nor any specific study of
ASL use. The article concludes with a call to action to rectify this