February 12, 2010

Indian sign language endangered

Forum explores cultural language

By Kyle Turner Davis said NAISL was an alternate sign system that was conventionalized and distinct from other forms of communication. It is separate from gesticulation that co-occurs with spoken language and was used for hunting, rituals and other practices observing silence.

When asked if NAISL was created specifically for deaf people, Davis supported the possibility due to the historically higher percentage of hearing impaired among Native Americans. He said it has spread and evolved over time to become a complete language for others and not just the deaf.

Unlike monastic or occupational sign systems, NAISL is much more complex, Davis said.

Records indicate 12 language families and 40 spoken languages among the Native Americans but approximately only seven spoken languages in four linguistic families remain.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Indian and American Sign Languages.

No comments: