As defined in Wikipedia; a sign language is a language which chiefly uses manual communication to convey meaning, as opposed to spoken language. Some scientists credit mankind as the inventors of the first sign language. This is probably true. Early man, before spoken language, probably used gesture. They most likely pointed and created signs for those things they couldn’t talk about. Early humans are credited being the first inventors and users of the most basic sign language.
Some people think that Juan Pablo de Bonet invented sign language. In the year 1620, Bonet wrote a book that contained the first known manual alphabet system. His book named ‘Reducción de las letras y arte para enseñar a hablar a los mudos’ -“Summary of the letters and the art of teaching speech to the mute” is a collection of four essays on teaching the deaf, along with graphics of Bonet’s signed alphabet. This is considered to be the first modern treatise of the phonetics of sign language with the aim to teach speech to the deaf. The hand shapes in this system represented different speech sounds.
5 uses of sign languages
- The boon of sign language comes as a miraculous aid to the deaf and dumb people. It enables them to disseminate their thoughts and ideas through the facial expressions, hand shapes and finger spellings.
- Sign language requires the right combination of movements, orientation, head movements, eye-gazes and hand- shapes to convey the message effectively.
- Sign language is used in the news channels meant for the deaf and the dumb community.
- Scuba divers also learn the language to communicate inside the water.
- Sign language is learnt by some due to its easy and fascinating communication strategy.
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In July 2010, NASA astronaut Tracy Caudwell Dyson made history by bringing a new language to the International Space Station. Using American Sign Language (ASL), she spoke directly to deaf people around the world in a 6 minute video recorded on-board.