A Glimpse Of The American Sign Language

Submitted by: Susan J Morris

What is a sign language? It is a mode of communication by using hand gestures. It is primarily used by deaf people to communicate to one another and also to convey information to non-deaf people. There are many types of sign languages all over the world. One of them is American Sign Language.

What is American Sign Language? It is the main sign language used by the deaf population in the United States. Where does American Sign Language originated? It is believed by many that it originated mostly from French Sign Language. Who are the great men behind this sign language? The people who contributed to the development of this sign language are Geronimo Cardano, Juan Pablo de Bonet, Abbe Charles Michel de L Epee, Samuel Heinicke and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. Geronimo Cardano was a physician from Padua in Northern Italy. He declared that deaf people have the capability to learn symbols by interconnecting it to the actual thing. Juan Pablo de Bonet was the first to wrote a book that teaches sign language to the deaf population. Abbe Charles Michel de L Epee was from Paris. He established the first free school for deaf people in their country. He was able to taught them how to recognize and later on learn the sign language. Samuel Heinicke was from Leipzig, Germany. He was the one who developed the total communication method for the deaf which is manual and oral sign language. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet was the first sign language teacher. He created the first learning institution of deaf in the United States.


This sign language uses hands and body movements as well as facial expressions to communicate to deaf and non-deaf people. It is consists mainly of finger spellings and numbers in the past years. Until Stokoe notation, the first writing system was introduced. Now there are many versions of writing systems available for the deaf population. Is there a literature that exist using American sign Language? Yes there is. It is composed mainly of songs, poetry, stories and tales done using this type of sign language. Do you need to study American Sign Language? If you are into a field where you will be mingling with deaf population in the united States and other countries, you need to study American Sign Language. It will really help you understand them. You can help them with their problems if ever they have if you understand their language. Who are the people who deal mainly with the deaf? They are the nurses, doctors, and social workers who work in a deaf institution. Is it expensive to study American Sign Language? No, because it is now a subject included in the curriculum of every students in many public and universities in the United States to fully understand this form of sign language. Is it necessary for a deaf person to study this kind of sign language? Yes. It is a must for every deaf individual to learn this language since they need to communicate to other individuals whether they have the same condition as theirs or not.

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