Why We Must Learn Sign language

Sign language . Or sign language, it is a natural language of expression and gesture-spatial configuration and visual perception (or even tactile for certain people with deaf blindness), thanks to which deaf people can establish a channel of communication with their social environment, since be made up of other deaf individuals or any person who knows the sign language used. While with oral language communication is established in a vocal-auditory channel, sign language does so through a gesture-visual-spatial channel.


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  • 1 Language
  • 2 Tongue
  • 3 Signal
  • 4 Origin of sign languages
  • 5 Sign languages ​​or sign languages?
  • 6 Linguistics
  • 7 Dialectal variation
  • 8 Phonology of sign languages
  • 9 Syntax
  • 10 The manual alphabet
  • 11 External link
  • 12 Sources


  1. Set of articulated sounds with which the man expresses what he thinks or feels.
  2. Way of expressing yourself. Cultured, rude, simple, technical, forensic, vulgar language.
  3. Style and way of speaking and writing of each person in particular.
  4. Use of speech or ability to speak.
  5. Set of signs that imply something. The language of the eyes , that of the flowers.
  6. Set of signs and rules that allows communication with a computer.
  7. Language that facilitates communication with a computer through conventional signs close to those of a natural language.
  8. Language very similar to that of a machine , with small mnemonic modifications that facilitate its use. It is of a level immediately superior to that of the machine.
  9. A set of coded instructions that a computer can directly interpret and execute.


  1. Muscular organ located in the cavity of the mouth of vertebrates and which serves to taste, to swallow and to modulate the sounds that are their own.
  2. Verbal and almost always written communication system, typical of a human community.
  3. Linguistic system whose speakers recognize models of good expression. Cervantes’ language is official in 21 nations
  4. Linguistic system considered in its structure.
  5. Vocabulary and grammar proper and characteristic of an era, of a writer or of a social group. The language of Góngora The gaucho language
  6. Power to speak.


  1. Note, indication or gesture to imply something or come to know it.
  2. That which in concert is determined between two or more people to understand each other.
  3. Sign or means that is used to later remember something.
  4. Remnant of something remains and remembers it.
  5. Indication of someone’s place and address.
  6. Characteristic features of a person that allow them to be distinguished from others.
  7. State your individual circumstances; describe it in such a way that it can be distinguished from something else.
  8. Explain yourself, make yourself understood through gestures.

Origin of sign languages

The origin of Sign Language is very old and although it is generally used among people with hearing deficits, nowadays more and more people are joining in the study and practice of it. Its use is as old as that of oral languages. Sign languages ​​are natural languages ​​that have perfectly defined grammatical structures. In fact, there are people, even listeners, whose mother tongue is a sign language. The linguistic acquisition process studied in children who have a sign language as their mother tongue follows stages that are completely analogous to the acquisition of oral languages ​​(babbling, stage of a word, …). In addition, the processes of morphological analogy, ellipsis, phonetic changes or assimilation also occur in the same way in sign languages. Sign languages ​​differ from each other, both in the lexicon (set of signs or gestures) and in grammar, as well as oral languages ​​differ from each other. In sign languages ​​themanual or fingerprint alphabet , generally for proper or technical names, although it is just one of the many tools they have. In the past, the use of sign language in sign languages ​​was presupposed evidence that they were only a poor or simplified version of oral languages, which is false. In general, sign languages ​​are independent of oral languages ​​and follow their own line of development. Finally, an area that has more than one oral language may have the same sign language, despite the fact that there are different oral languages. This is the case of Canada , the USA , and Mexico, where the American Sign Language coexists with the English, Spanish, and French oral languages. Conversely, in an area where there is an oral language that can serve as a lingua franca, several sign languages ​​can coexist, as is the case of Spain , where the Spanish Sign Language (LSE) coexists, the Catalan Sign Language ( LSC), and the Valencian Sign Language (LSCV).

Sign languages ​​or sign languages?

As “signs” and “signs” are not strictly synonymous terms, some experts believe that the name “sign language”, which is the majority in Spain , is terminologically incorrect, arguing that, according to Saussure, all languages ​​are strictly speaking “sign systems ” However, regardless of the terminology strictly used in the field of linguistics, both words are used in common use, depending on the country. For example, in Spain it is common to call it “sign language”, especially in related legislation, and other names such as “sign language”, “gestural language” or “mime” are used to a lesser extent. On the other hand, in Spanish-speaking American countries it is traditional to call them ”


The scientific study of sign languages ​​has revealed that they possess all the properties and complexities typical of any natural oral language. Despite the general and erroneous conception that they are “artificial languages”. Specifically, the following facts regarding sign languages ​​have been found that provide the necessary linguistics to classify them as natural languages:

  • They have an abstract phonology, called in this case cheirology, analyzable in formal terms in features of position, orientation, configuration, in a way analogous to how the phonemes of oral languages ​​are analyzed. Furthermore, the realization of each sign is subject to the same type of variety as the sounds of oral languages ​​(dialectal variation, assimilation, linguistic change).
  • They have a syntax that obeys the same general principles as other natural languages, and they have some productive word formation mechanisms that allow the existence of morphological processes to be affirmed.
  • The acquisition of a sign language by infants (deaf or hearing) follows a process parallel to the acquisition of an oral language by a hearing child.
  • There are stable communities of speakers, whose language has both dialectal variations, idioms of each community, and is subject to the same type of linguistic change universally detected in all natural languages ​​(artificial languages ​​lack these characteristics).
  • Sign languages, like oral languages, are organized by elementary units without their own meaning (lexemes).
  • Sign languages ​​are not simply mimicry, nor are they a visual reproduction of some simplified version of any spoken language. They have complex, creative and productive grammar like that of any other natural language.

A further proof of the difference between oral and sign languages ​​is the fact that the latter exploit only the shots of the visual medium. Oral language is auditory and, consequently, linear. Only one sound can be emitted or received at a time, while sign language is visual and can therefore refer to an entire space at the same time. Consequently, information can flow through various “channels” and be expressed simultaneously. Another characteristic that has meant a differentiation between sign language and oral languages ​​is the difficulty of being written, since it is a traditionally Arabic language, since, normally, sign languages ​​have not been written. Among other reasons it has contributed, the one that most deaf people read and write in the oral language of their country. Despite this, there have been proposals to develop sign language transcription systems, mainly from the academic world, but most of them have deficiencies to capture all the communicative characteristics used in sign languages ​​(especially the elements non-manual and positional). However, there are several systems of representation of signs using textual signs (glosses, alphabetic sign-writing.) Or, iconic. but most of them have deficiencies in capturing all the communicative characteristics used in sign languages ​​(especially non-manual and positional elements). However, there are several systems of representation of signs using textual signs (glosses, alphabetic sign-writing.) Or, iconic. but most of them have deficiencies in capturing all the communicative characteristics used in sign languages ​​(especially non-manual and positional elements). However, there are several systems of representation of signs using textual signs (glosses, alphabetic sign-writing.) Or, iconic.

Dialectal variation

In the same way as it happens with oral language, there is not necessarily a sign language for each country, and even less is it a universal language, but there are several different sign languages ​​in the world, located regionally. There are at least some fifty languages ​​practically intelligible with each other, and numerous dialects, some of which coexist within the same city.

Phonology of sign languages

The set of minimum symbolic units or phonemes of most sign languages ​​can be analyzed in terms of seven basic formative parameters:

  1. Form that the hand acquires when making a sign.
  2. Orientation of the hand: palm up, down, towards the signer.
  3. Articulation site. Place of the body where the sign is made: mouth, forehead, chest, shoulder.
  4. Movement of the hands when making a sign: rotating, straight, reciprocating, broken.
  5. Contact point. Part of the dominant hand (right if you are right-handed, left if you are left-handed) that touches another part of the body: fingertips, palm of the hand, back of the fingers.
  6. It is where the sign is made, according to the distance that separates it from the body, with Plane 1 being in contact with the body, and Plane 4 being the furthest place (arms stretched forward).
  7. Non-manual component. It is the information that is transmitted through the body: facial expression, spoken and oral components, movements of the trunk and shoulders. (As an example, when expressing future we lean slightly forward, and when expressing past, backwards).

This is parallel with the 5 or 6 parameters generally necessary to analyze the phonology of oral languages, among which we find:

  1. Mechanism of current, which indicates which is the mechanism of generation of the air current: pulmonary, ejection, injection, …
  2. Articulation mode, which divides sounds into occlusives, fricatives, approximations or vowels.
  3. Articulation point, depending on which are the two parts of the vocal tract that are closest at the moment of articulation.
  4. Coarticulation, when a sound has several phases in the mode or at the point of articulation throughout its articulation.


Many sign languages ​​tend to be analytical languages ​​with little morphology. This, however, may be more a consequence of their historical origin than a necessary or preferred feature of sign languages. In most sign languages, for example, morphological processes are more used in word formation processes: derivation and composition and are evident in the structure of much of the lexicon.

The manual alphabet

Deaf educated people (who can read and write) from almost all over the world use a group of signs to represent the letters of the alphabet with which they write the oral language of the country. This is what is called manual alphabet or finger alphabet. In the case of Spanish-speaking countries, where the Latin alphabet is used , deaf people use the same manual alphabet, common to all countries (with some minor variations in the shape of some letters). In England a different, two-hand manual alphabet is used. In countries that use alphabets other than Latin (Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic, etc.) there are other forms of representation among deaf people.


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