Are Deaf children eligible for the national spelling bee?

Are deaf children eligible for the national spelling bee? If they are, how is their spelling word communicated to them? Is it multiple choice? How is it done when there are also hearing children in the same competion, without accusations of favoritism for one or the other?

Interesting. By the hed alone, I was about to rattle off a snarky reply.

I’m learning American Sign Language now. In a bit I’ll throw in some stuff.

A deaf child was in the Bee several years ago. This youngster did have some hearing, and used lip-reading and may also have had a cochlear implant.

I almost made it to the NSB when I was in 8th grade. :slight_smile: It was the only good thing that happened in my life at the time, so I have very fond memories of winning the school bee and then going to the city bee.

Found this through a google search.

I won the spelling bee of my elementary school in 6th grade and went on to the school district competition. I won basically because I had a big vocabulary for my age.

At the district competition, the word they gave me was “usury.” That’s hard word to spell for anyone. And what kind of word to give is that for a kid? I didn’t know what it meant until college.

Fucking anti-Semites.

Poe’s Law applied to the above post will undoubtedly give it wide currency among real anti-Semites.

The word that got me dinged was “justification”. I left out one of the "I"s in the middle.

My understanding is that ASL is a totally separate, stand-alone language. Giving a kid a word in ASL to spell in English would be like giving a word in French and asking them to spell it in English. There may not be an exact translation, for one thing: I can see “indignant” translated into ASL and the kid correctly spelling “irate” or something. It just isn’t plausible.

They got me on “quondam”. I swear I must have completely missed that one on the list.

Quite often people speak or mouth simultaneously though. If you could lip read, you would know it is “indignant”. That might be how it’s done?

I really don’t know, I’m mainly posting because I want to know too…

There’s a way to write ASL, called glossing. In the system of glossing, there is one, and only one, word associated with each sign. If the word-giver was signing, in theory the contestant could spell the received gloss for the sign. However, I don’t think glossing is very commonly taught to Deaf children if at all. The current theory, at least in my region, is Bilingual ASL-English education, with English used as the primary writing system. I know the younger Deaf people I meet have written English skills far surpassing the older generation I encounter.

I’m in an interpreter-level class right now for numbers, fingerspelling and glossing. My deaf, in-his-30s, teacher says glossing is almost a dead skill, because since Video Chat took over from TDD, Deaf people don’t need it in everyday life among other signers, and the times when you need to render ASL in writing are few when English is available and more effective with non-signers. He says these days Deaf people learn glossing, after written English, if they need it for academic journals, play/tv scripts and other places where rendering sign in writing is necessary.

Speaking while you sign is usually impossible if you are signing ASL – the grammar is just too different. It would be like speaking English while writing Russian. When people speak and sign simultaenously, they are using a pidgen, called Pidgen Signed English, also called “contact sign,” which is a hashup of ASL signs and English grammar.

One and only one English word or one and only one ASL word?

One English word. Signs have multiple meanings but only one official gloss. Gloss is how you write ASL using English words, but no aspects of English grammar. However, Glosses can be hybridized when they’re directional. For example, the sign “move” is a directional verb (the sign’s motion indicates in what direction the action is happening). For the gloss, if you use “move” in the away-from-body direction the gloss is MOVE-THERE. If you move towards your body, the gloss is MOVE-HERE.

Fingerspelling, and lexicalized/loan signs (signs that started as fingerspelled words and evolved into signs) have a way of being represented with the prefixes fs- and #. There is also a notational system for facial expression, which is hard to represent in this format.

So the English sentence:
I’m moving to Schenectady because I got a new job there.

Would be rendered in Gloss:
I fs-Schenectady MOVE-THERE. WHY? NEW #JB

Note how ASL grammar controls when glossing. ASL grammar is not just wierd crappy English grammar, it is a complete and distinct language. In this gloss Schenectady is fingerspelled and “job” is a lexicalized sign you make by flicking J-B towards yourself.

Hello Again, are you deaf and/or an ASL teacher or linguistics person? The abbreviations and signs you use are the same as I see/make use of in the Green book from Gallaudet.

No, I’m hearing and a casual student actually although I have some facility for language, and am a highly visual learner. As I mentioned I’m in a class that’s for interpreters, and is solely on the topics of fingerspelling, numbers, and gloss.

The reason the notation is the same, is, well, because it’s the system. the official one. As described in my previous posts, it’s not considered generally useful anymore, but there you have it. It’s what we got.

My original point – perhaps lost in a sea of details – is that it would be impossible pin one meaning per sign, but you could in theory have a glossing bee. Remember, the gloss represents the sign, not all the signs meanings.

Thanks. Although I find it hard to square “casual student” with “class for interpreters” :slight_smile:

Thanks Hello Again, very interesting! :slight_smile:

So would it be fair to say that gloss is a highly standardized translation convention? It seems to me that if you are “writing ASL using English words”, you are translating, not writing.

No, a gloss is just what the word means in standard English, a choice of words that best describe the meaning.

Of course, by extension in one direction, it could be a dictionary definition and zeroing-in with synonyms, and by extension in the other direction the reality of translation, which by definition cannot always be “exact.”

Its difficult to discuss. I guess a “highly stylized version of translation” is one way to explain Glossing. Technically its a notational system, I think. Much like written music represents a series of gestures on the piano.

In Glossing, one meaning is chosen to represent the sign. The gloss represents one sign, one physical motion, NOT one meaning or all meanings. And the grammar is only ASL, not English. Imagine if you wrote French using English words BUT with French grammatical concepts and word order. You’de be doing something more like glossing

Ma chat noir est arrivee
“gloss” to English: My cat black is arrived

That’s not good English, right? In English, adjectives precedes the noun, in French adjectives involving color follow the noun; smilarly in English verbs and adjectives must agree in tense, the rules are different in French. Since we are preserving the French grammar, we preserve the French word order and tense formulation in the “gloss.” Neither is ASL Gloss mean to be good english, it represents a foreign language using the English writing system.

so for example, the sign whose received gloss is “NICE” also means “pure” and it also means the verb “to clean.” When you gloss, you ONLY EVER use the gloss “NICE” regardless of the meaning you are conveying. NICE represents the sign you’re talking about.

So, for example,
I can’t go to the movies on wednesday night, I need to clean my apartment


I don’ say “CLEAN” because CLEAN isn’t the received gloss. Notice how glossing is always written in all caps. I believe this is to avoid the misunderstanding that glossing represents the meanings in sign; it is not a translation.

Leo you’re wrong in that gloss is not intended to represent meaning. It represents the physical gesture you’re using, the same way written music represents a sequence of gestures on the piano.