What is this sign language if you don't use Pure American Sign Language (ASL) with your own grammar, or use exact English by signing? It's called a signed pidgin or PSE. The later term "contact signature" means that it is a language that develops between people who communicate with English and signs .
One variation is Conceptually Accurate Signed English (CASE), which selects a sign based on its ASL meaning rather than its English sound or spelling, but uses English grammar order when constructing the signature. This is in contrast to hand-coded English, where the characters represent English words rather than the concepts they represent in ASL.
Pidgin is a term for any language that develops naturally between people who use different languages. But the pidgins are usually narrow, simplistic, with a limited vocabulary and no native speakers.
For these reasons, this term is not popular. This is in part because PSE is a form of sign language commonly used in places like Gallaudet and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). But there are also significant differences in pidgin that develop between the two spoken languages, as well as between sign languages and spoken language.
What is Pidgin Signed English?
The PSE is not a real language and it has no rules. Sign linguistics experts see this as a way to "bridge" the gap between native speakers of ASL and native speakers of English. Native speakers can be deaf or hearing. Contains a combination of ASL rules and English grammar. The characters used in PSE are taken from ASL, but are not used in ASL style but in more common English.
To speed up communication, native PSE speakers cannot use certain elements of the English language, such as the definite and indefinite articles "the" and "a". They cannot use word endings, such as not signing "ing", or not always signing past tense or pronouncing them with their fingers. For example, a person might say "I finished cleaning" instead of "I cleaned." PSE is quite individual and users communicate the way they want to. The use of PSE is more like a continuum between ASL and English.
Research at PSE
Sale Lucas of Gallaudet University School of Linguistics has done much research on PSE with Clayton Valley. Lucas and Wally's work is described in more detail in the 1992 book Language Contact in the American Deaf Community (ISBN 0-12-458040-8). They pointed out the differences between PSE and spoken pidgin and suggested the term "contact signing" instead.
One of the differences is that different word endings found in English are not used, for example, the possessive and past tense endings. Another significant difference is that the vocabulary for signing contacts comes from ASL and English grammar, which is not usually found in the spoken language Pidgin.