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sign language : ウィキペディア英語版
sign language

A sign language (also signed language or simply signing) is a language which uses manual communication and body language to convey meaning, as opposed to acoustically conveyed sound patterns. 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. They share many similarities with spoken languages (sometimes called "oral languages", which depend primarily on sound), which is why linguists consider both to be natural languages, but there are also some significant differences between signed and spoken languages.
Wherever communities of deaf people exist, sign languages have been developed. Signing is not only used by the deaf, it is also used by people who can hear, but cannot physically speak. While they use space for grammar in a way that spoken languages do not, sign languages show the same linguistic properties and use the same language faculty as do spoken languages.〔Stokoe, William C.; Dorothy C. Casterline; Carl G. Croneberg. 1965. ''A dictionary of American sign language on linguistic principles''. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet College Press〕〔Stokoe, William C. 1960. (Sign Language Structure: An Outline of the Visual Communication Systems of the American Deaf ), ''Studies in linguistics: Occasional papers (No. 8)''. Buffalo: Dept. of Anthropology and Linguistics, University at Buffalo.〕 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.
A common misconception is that all sign languages are the same worldwide or that sign language is international. Aside from the pidgin International Sign, each country generally has its own, native sign language, and some have more than one, though sign languages may share similarities to each other, whether in the same country or another one.
It is not clear how many sign languages there are. The 2013 edition of Ethnologue lists 137 sign languages.
== History ==
(詳細はPlato's ''Cratylus'', where Socrates says: "If we hadn't a voice or a tongue, and wanted to express things to one another, wouldn't we try to make signs by moving our hands, head, and the rest of our body, just as dumb people do at present?"
Until the 19th century, most of what we know about historical sign languages is limited to the manual alphabets (fingerspelling systems) that were invented to facilitate transfer of words from an oral language to a sign language, rather than documentation the language itself.
In 1620, Juan Pablo Bonet published (‘Reduction of letters and art for teaching mute people to speak’) in Madrid.〔Pablo Bonet, J. de (1620) ''Reduction de las letras y Arte para enseñar á ablar los Mudos''. Ed. Abarca de Angulo, Madrid, ejemplar facsímil accesible en la (), online (spanish) scan of book, held at University of Sevilla, Spain〕 It is considered the first modern treatise of sign language phonetics, setting out a method of oral education for deaf people and a manual alphabet.
In Britain, manual alphabets were also in use for a number of purposes, such as secret communication,〔Wilkins, John (1641). ''Mercury, the Swift and Silent Messenger''. The book is a work on cryptography, and fingerspelling was referred to as one method of "secret discoursing, by signes and gestures". Wilkins gave an example of such a system: "Let the tops of the fingers signifie the five vowels; the middle parts, the first five consonants; the bottomes of them, the five next consonants; the spaces betwixt the fingers the foure next. One finger laid on the side of the hand may signifie T. Two fingers V the consonant; Three W. The little finger crossed X. The wrist Y. The middle of the hand Z." (1641:116-117)〕 public speaking, or communication by deaf people.〔John Bulwer's "Chirologia: or the natural language of the hand.", published in 1644, London, mentions that alphabets are in use by deaf people, although Bulwer presents a different system which is focused on public speaking.〕 In 1648, John Bulwer described "Master Babington", a deaf man proficient in the use of a manual alphabet, "contryved on the joynts of his fingers", whose wife could converse with him easily, even in the dark through the use of tactile signing.〔Bulwer, J. (1648) ''Philocopus, or the Deaf and Dumbe Mans Friend'', London: Humphrey and Moseley.〕
In 1680, George Dalgarno published ''Didascalocophus, or, The deaf and dumb mans tutor'',〔Dalgarno, George. ''Didascalocophus, or, The deaf and dumb mans tutor''. Oxford: Halton, 1680.〕 in which he presented his own method of deaf education, including an "arthrological" alphabet, where letters are indicated by pointing to different joints of the fingers and palm of the left hand. Arthrological systems had been in use by hearing people for some time;〔See Wilkins (1641) above. Wilkins was aware that the systems he describes are old, and refers to Bede's account of Roman and Greek finger alphabets.〕 some have speculated that they can be traced to early Ogham manual alphabets.〔Montgomery, G. "The Ancient Origins of Sign Handshapes" ''Sign Language Studies'' 2(3) (2002): 322-334.〕
The vowels of this alphabet have survived in the contemporary alphabets used in British Sign Language, Auslan and New Zealand Sign Language. The earliest known printed pictures of consonants of the modern two-handed alphabet appeared in 1698 with ''Digiti Lingua'', a pamphlet by an anonymous author who was himself unable to speak.〔Moser H.M., O'Neill J.J., Oyer H.J., Wolfe S.M., Abernathy E.A., and Schowe, B.M. "Historical Aspects of Manual Communication" ''Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders'' 25 (1960) 145-151.

and Hay, A. and Lee, R. ''A Pictorial History of the evolution of the British Manual Alphabet'' (British Deaf History Society Publications: Middlsex, 2004)〕 He suggested that the manual alphabet could also be used by mutes, for silence and secrecy, or purely for entertainment. Nine of its letters can be traced to earlier alphabets, and 17 letters of the modern two-handed alphabet can be found among the two sets of 26 handshapes depicted.
Charles de La Fin published a book in 1692 describing an alphabetic system where pointing to a body part represented the first letter of the part (e.g. Brow=B), and vowels were located on the fingertips as with the other British systems.〔Charles de La Fin (1692). ''Sermo mirabilis, or, The silent language whereby one may learn ... how to impart his mind to his friend, in any language ... being a wonderful art kept secret for several ages in Padua, and now published only to the wise and prudent ...'' London, Printed for Tho. Salusbury... and sold by Randal Taylor... 1692. OCLC 272u45872〕 He described codes for both English and Latin.
By 1720, the British manual alphabet had found more or less its present form.〔Daniel Defoe (1720). "The Life and Adventures of Mr. Duncan Campbell"〕 Descendants of this alphabet have been used by deaf communities (or at least in classrooms) in former British colonies India, Australia, New Zealand, Uganda and South Africa, as well as the republics and provinces of the former Yugoslavia, Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean, Indonesia, Norway, Germany and the USA.
Frenchman Charles-Michel de l'Épée published his manual alphabet in the 18th century, which has survived basically unchanged in France and North America until the present time. In 1755, Abbé de l'Épée founded the first school for deaf children in Paris; Laurent Clerc was arguably its most famous graduate. Clerc went to the United States with Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet to found the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1817.〔Canlas (2006).〕 Gallaudet's son, Edward Miner Gallaudet founded a school for the deaf in 1857 in Washington, D.C., which in 1864 became the National Deaf-Mute College. Now called Gallaudet University, it is still the only liberal arts university for deaf people in the world.
Sign languages generally do not have any linguistic relation to the spoken languages of the lands in which they arise. The correlation between sign and spoken languages is complex and varies depending on the country more than the spoken language. For example, the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand all have English as their dominant language, but American Sign Language (ASL), used in the US and most parts of Canada, is derived from French Sign Language whereas the other three countries sign dialects of British, Australian and New Zealand Sign Language.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Ethnologue report for language code: bfi )〕 Similarly, the sign languages of Spain and Mexico are very different, despite Spanish being the national language in each country,〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=SIL Electronic Survey Reports: Spanish Sign Language survey )〕 and the sign language used in Bolivia is based on ASL rather than any sign language that is used in a Spanish-speaking country.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=SIL Electronic Survey Reports: Bolivia deaf community and sign language pre-survey report )〕 Variations also arise within a 'national' sign language which don't necessarily correspond to dialect differences in the national spoken language; rather, they can usually be correlated to the geographic location of residential schools for the deaf.〔Lucas, Ceil, Robert Bayley and Clayton Valli. 2001. Sociolinguistic Variation in American Sign Language. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.〕〔Lucas, Ceil, Bayley, Robert, Clayton Valli. 2003. What's Your Sign for PIZZA? An Introduction to Variation in American Sign Language. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.〕
International Sign, formerly known as Gestuno, is used mainly at international Deaf events such as the Deaflympics and meetings of the World Federation of the Deaf. While recent studies claim that International Sign is a kind of a pidgin, they conclude that it is more complex than a typical pidgin and indeed is more like a full sign language.〔Cf. Supalla, Ted & Rebecca Webb (1995). "The grammar of international sign: A new look at pidgin languages." In: Emmorey, Karen & Judy Reilly (eds). ''Language, gesture, and space.'' (International Conference on Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research) Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum, pp. 333–352; McKee R. & J. Napier J. (2002). "Interpreting in International Sign Pidgin: an analysis." ''Journal of Sign Language Linguistics'' 5(1).〕

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