The official blog of Safari Bill (Dr. William Vicars)-- Lexicographer, protologism developer, enchiridion author, ASL evangelist, and immersion excursion guide.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Do Deaf Sign in Their Sleep?

In a message dated 5/17/2006 5:33:58 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

My question may be a bit inappropriate, (sorry if it is!!!) but I am a bit curious about the sleep habits of the deaf community and am wondering...Do the deaf sign in their sleep? Like sleep talking, I suppose, but with signs. And if they do, does it matter when the language is learned; does sleep signing occur evenif the language is learned later in life, instead of being learned as a child? Thank you for your time,

Yes, some Deaf do sign in their sleep. My wife and I have both caught each other doing it. Very difficult to make any sense out of it though. (So, I reckon our secrets are safe.) Yes, sleep signing can and does occur in people who have learned ASL later in life.
Safari Bill