Original Signs

Original Signs

Gesture, Sign, and the Sources of Language

eBook - 1999
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Baker & Taylor
Looks at the origins of language, arguing that sign language and speech develeped at the same time and that language uses both auditory and visual senses.

Book News
Arraying himself on the side of anthropology, where his training is, rather than formal linguistics Armstrong (management, Gallaudet U.) argues that sign language and speech developed together as the first languages. He draws from the signing of deaf people, the behavior of human's nearest living relatives and the anatomy of their ancestors, and the various linguistic theories currently in the field. Primarily he proposes that language is not a matter of translating thoughts into a linear string of arbitrary symbols, but a multi-channel activity that uses mostly auditory and visual senses. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Blackwell North Amer
Since Darwin's time, the majority of evolutionary linguists have theorized that language defines human beings and that speech defines language. In Original Signs, David Armstrong disputes the latter concept by showing that language has evolved in many different ways through many different paths, not just speech. The present evidence rests in the known fact that when deaf people sign, they are using a well-formed human language.
Armstrong addresses in turn the various thoughts on language development put forth by the major theorists, including Stephen J. Gould, Steven Pinker, Noam Chomsky, Terrence Deacon, and others, to finely hone his concept of the varied forms in which language developed.

Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Galludet University Press, 1999
ISBN: 9780585123950
Characteristics: 1 online resource (ix, 190 p.)


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