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How has our
expanded & been
limited by gestural
Kacey Kuchenbecker
Personal Experiences, why topic chosen.
Is sign language the same in other
 NO
 Not one form of sign language is universal. Different
countries and regions have developed different
forms of sign language
 Some terms may be very similar, however it is not cut
and dry the same in every country
How has ASL came to be?
 What is American Sign Language?
 “American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete, complex language that
employs signs made by moving the hands combined with facial
expressions and postures of the body. It is the primary language of many
North Americans who are deaf and is one of several communication
options used by people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.”
 Quoted by the National Institute on deafness and other communication
Using gestures to communicate…. Better?
 Help express with more emphasis on what we are trying to get across
 how we perceive and interpret gestural communication.
 How emotions are incorporated in sign language and gestures (shape of our face, facial
expressions, eyes, lips, etc).
 Has made a huge impact on the non hearing society
Interpreting Sign Language…What is
going on?
What is the relationship of what gestures
hearing and non hearing people use for
certain words?
Benefits to sign language
 Gestures play a huge role in our everyday communication.
 Communicating from far distances/places where talking is not allowed or there is a barrier
prohibiting verbal communication
 Emotion
 Emphasis
Limits to sign language
 people interpret things differently
 inappropriate signs (middle finger)
 complex sentences-using sounds to describe
 Not all gestures are universal not all sign languages
are universal
How do complex sentences get
incorporated into gestural
In spoken language, words are produced by using the mouth and voice to make sounds. But
for people who are deaf (particularly those who are profoundly deaf), the sounds of speech
are often not heard
Certain configurations of facial expression and head and body posture were shown to cooccur with particular sentence and clause types
Topics are marked by raised brows and head slightly back in ASL, and negatives by a
Gestures connected with
Looking into cultures: Italian hand
In conclusion
 Gestural communication has evolved over our entire world history scientifically (dealing with the non
hearing) and culturally.
 Cultural implications of gestural communication It is a language that is still changing and being
developed by groups of cultures all over the world
 Example: Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language (ABSL), a sign language used over the past 75 years by both
hearing and nonhearing people in an isolated Bedouin village in Israel.
 was developed among a small group of people with little to no outside influence and no direct
linguistic input, ABSL offers researchers the opportunity to document a new language as it develops and
evolves. It can also be used to model the essential elements and organization of natural language.
Ted Talk: Sign Language