Basic Introduction To Sign Language History

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Sign language is used by deaf and hard-of-hearing people to communicate. Instead of sound, it uses hand motions, facial expression and body movements for communication. Different regions of the world have different forms. American Sign Language (ASL) is commonly used in the US and English speaking parts of other Countries in North America. Now You can read about Sign language history Below.

Basic Introduction To American Sign Language History

In regards to the most used languages in the US, you may be surprised to discover American Sign Language ranks fourth. It is estimated between 500,000 and 2 million Americans can communicate using ASL.

As one would expect, the origins are based on necessity. Early use can be found in Martha’s Vineyard way back in the late 17th century. There was a very high rate of deafness amongst the community at Martha’s Vineyard. As a result, a natural way to communicate developed in the region. This primitive communication forms the basis of the modern American Sign Language.

What is American Sign Language?

A Protestant minister, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and a student of the director of the Royal Institution for the Deaf in Paris, Laurent Clerc, opened the Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons in April 1817. This school is now called as American School for the Deaf in Sign Language History. The expertise brought by them intermingled with the primitive forms of sign which existed in the US and together formed what is today called American Sign Language.

Sign Language is Separate from other Languages

Although based on the English speaking world, American Sign Language is separate from English. It has its own set of grammar rules, punctuation styles and sentence structures. Its movements, gestures and actions are not direct translations of the corresponding words in English. It has its own vocabulary. To an onlooker, the meaning of a movement may seem obvious, but to the people holding the conversation, that motion may be a part of a whole phrase which signifies something entirely different from what the onlooker expects.

Also, sign languages from different parts of the world vary substantially. Since the origins of American Sign Language lay in the French version, the two are fairly similar. However, knowing one does not imply you will understand the other. On the other hand, while the English version is the basis for both US and UK, the American Sign Language and the British Sign Language are completely separate from one another.

Dialects of American Sign language History

Just like other languages, American Sign Language has a variety of dialects too. For instance, the way people from northern parts of the US speak is very different compared to those folks from the southern parts. Individuals from the North tend to speak much faster than people from the Southern States. Sometimes, this distinction is even more obvious. For instance, there is a significant difference in the way people from Northern Illinois use American Sign Language compared to those from the southern part of the state.

See Video to Know about Sign Language History

As you will discover, American Sign Language has a unique history and has been around for a long time. See More Sign Language Vidous Click here or Visit Sign language Category Also you can Find more stuff on Wikipedia.


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