Saturday, June 8, 2019

More recent stuff that indicates my article is current and relevant...

Illustration borrowed from National

Soya Mori recently posted about a National Geographic article published a few days ago about the so-called origins of sign language.

"How monks helped invent sign language. (subtitled) Vows of silence and humanist beliefs led European clerics to create new communication methods for the deaf 500 years ago." BY INÉS ANTÓN DAYAS. National May 28, 2019.

The article, simply put, is strangely biased and greatly uninformed.

On the one hand: Bonet criticized some of the brutal methods that had been used to get deaf people to speak: “Sometimes they are put into casks in which the voice booms and reverberates. These violent measures are by no means to the purpose.”

And then in conclusion: Thanks to the development of formal sign languages, people with hearing impairment can access spoken language in all its variety.

The author confuses sign language with manual alphabets (fingerspelling) and signing system for educating the hearing impaired. Thank goodness there were early Europeans to invent these systems for the benefit of the deaf. There is no discussion about natural sign language or Deaf communities.

I hope more people read my article.

Fedorowicz, Steven C. 2019. "Performance, Sign Language, and Deaf Identity in Japan." Anthropology News website, June 5, 2019. DOI: 10.1111/AN.1182

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