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Summer 1990 EDITORIAL In this issue the topic of name signs in American Sign Language, introduced in the Spring issue by Anna Mindess, is treated by "an insider," Samuel J. Supalla. It is a topic of more than usual interest, anthropological as well as linguistic, and the editor regrets that the two articles could not both be in the same issue. A historical sketch of a residential school for the deaf in Rome, Italyto distinguish it from the well-known school for the deaf in Rome, New York-enlists the direct personal knowledge of several Italian deaf adults and although some aspects of students' experience match closely those of Americans, it will surprise American readers to learn that before and even after the Milan resolution of 1880, in this particular school, signs were never forbidden. Also surprising when it is called to attention is the extent to which signing has not been looked at as "gesture;" i.e. as bodily action instead of sequences of static "targets." This becomes less surprising as Sherman Wilcox points out that in analyses of spoken languages also the focus of attention has been on speaking as the production of static targets: syllables, segments, features. Although a few linguists have examined speech as gesture, the main tendency is to locate, discriminate, and describe the products of neuro-muscular actions. Both Wilcox and Hoemann and Koenig refocus attention on what signers aredoing. They remind us that in signing, fingerspelling, and speaking what have been regarded mere transitions between targets may contain as much or more information than the targets themselves. They remind us also that advances in techniques for measuring perception and muscle firing now allow assessing that information with greater precision. In this issue also are two brief notices of important recent books. The Editor and the Review Editor would like to hear from readers who might be interested in preparing reviews at length, or review articles, on language acquisition and on Deaf culture. Both surely have the potential for adding substance to materials used in courses on these major topics. With this issue, marking its eighteenth year of existence, Sign Language Studies has in print only about two-thirds of its back issues. Demand for full sets is small but persistent. With the information explosion few librarians are confident that they have the space for journals presently received, and they look to future storage needs with acute concern. We are now investigating microfilm and electronic disk re-publication-at first a republication of the out-of-print back issues. Later, if these are in demand, all back issues, and eventually perhaps, simultaneous hard copy and more easily archivable versions of the current issues will be made available. Again response from readers is invited. SLS 67 Editorial ...


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