Linguistic Anthropology

Is there more than one sign language?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. There are hundreds of sign languages, each with its own vocabulary and grammar. There is no direct connection between a spoken language and a sign language, so two people from two different countries with different spoken languages could easily communicate as long as they are familiar with a common set of signs. In the United States, the deaf generally use American Sign Language (ASL), which evolved from French Sign Language (LSF) and is not related to spoken English. Signed Exact English (SEE) and Pidgin Signed English (PSE), though, are two current alternatives to ASL that are to some degree based on spoken English.

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