Sign Languages, Oral Expression and Writing. On the Writing of a Sign Language – French Bilingual Book

Sign languages, and among them French Belgian Sign Language (LSFB), illustrate that the embodiment of language can take different forms. Sign languages demonstrate that sound does not define linguistic ability and that a phoneme is not a sound. The gaze that the signer addresses to an interlocutor organizes the signer’s body and the surrounding space into a grammatical space. A recent experience of editing a bilingual book (in LSFB and in French) devoted to the linguistic issues of teaching in sign language raises several questions: about the status similarity/difference (oral vs. written?) between sign language and sign language video; about the heterogeneity of written practices by Deaf people; and about the particularity of translating a written text into a signed discourse.