Sign language, specially formulated for the deaf people, makes use of finger spellings, body language, lip pattern and manual communication, to convey the meaning. It mainly involves the use of orientation and movement of hands. The language can be taught only by a person who is specially trained in it. Today, the 'differently-abled' people can communicate to the rest of the world as easily and effectively as the able bodied. The credit goes to the sign language, which was developed many years ago. Want to know more about the language? If yes, then go through the following lines and get some interesting information on the background, origin and history of sign language.
Interesting Information On Background & Origin Of Sign Language
The origin of sign language can be traced back to the beginning of the Christian era, when illustrations of hand and finger positions were used to convey the meaning of different words. It is believed that sign language was used in Latin Bibles of the 10th century. However, the recorded history of the language dates back to the 17th century only. In 1620, Juan Pablo Bonet, a Spanish priest, published a book named 'Reduction of Letters and Art for Teaching Mute People to Speak'. This was regarded as the first modern treatise of Phonetics and Logopedia. It established oral education for the deaf and the dumb.
The manual signs, mentioned in Bonet's book, came to be used for teaching the deaf and dumb people. Inspired by the sign language of Bonet, Charles-Michel de l'Épée published a book, containing the alphabets, in the 18th century. The first public school for deaf children was established in 1755, in Paris, by Abbé de l'Épée. Through his organization, Abbé intended to help the deaf communicate with the rest of the world, by using gestures, hand signs and finger spellings. After learning the signs that were already prevalent in Paris, Abbé developed his own sign system.
Another important development in the history of sign language came with the establishment of the first permanent American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut. It was founded by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, in the year 1817. Forty years later, in 1857, Gallaudet's son, Edward Miner Gallaudet, founded a school for the deaf, in Washington, DC. The school came to be known as Gallaudet University in 1864. This further strengthened the education process of the deaf and dumb people.
Today, there are a number of sign languages prevalent in the world. The deaf communities across the world communicate differently, through their own version of sign language. One of the most popular sign languages is the American Sign Language (ASL), which is prevalent in the United States as well as some areas of Mexico and Canada. There also exists an International Sign Language, which, as the name suggests, is used at used at international meetings, such as the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), as well as informally, when traveling and socializing.