A sign language (also signed language) is a language which, instead of acoustically conveyed sound patterns, uses manual communication and body language to convey meaning. This can involve simultaneously combining hand shapes, orientation and movement of the hands, arms or body, and facial expressions to fluidly express a speaker's thoughts.
Wherever communities of deaf people exist, sign languages develop. Signing is also done by persons who can hear, but cannot physically speak. While they utilize space for grammar in a way that spoken languages do not, sign languages exhibit the same linguistic properties and use the same language faculty as do spoken languages. Hundreds of sign languages are in use around the world and are at the cores of local deaf cultures. Some sign languages have obtained some form of legal recognition, while others have no status at all.
Read more about Sign Language: History, Linguistics of Sign
Famous quotes containing the words sign and/or language:
“Prepare for death, if here at night you roam,
And sign your will before you sup from home.”
—Samuel Johnson (17091784)
“If when a businessman speaks of minority employment, or air pollution, or poverty, he speaks in the language of a certified public accountant analyzing a corporate balance sheet, who is to know that he understands the human problems behind the statistical ones? If the businessman would stop talking like a computer printout or a page from the corporate annual report, other people would stop thinking he had a cash register for a heart. It is as simple as thatbut that isnt simple.”
—Louis B. Lundborg (19061981)