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The communication medium - Essay Example

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Date Sign Language as a means of Communication Often identified as all forms of codification that replace punctuation signs, numbers and words, sign language is an art of communication where the forms of codification include signals and visual signs…
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The communication medium

For instance, waving one’s hand is generally used to bid someone farewell while putting one’s hand with the palm facing forward gestures one to stop. Simple gestures like waving one’s hand do not define sign language, rather when several gestures are combined to relay thoughts, ideas and feelings they become sign language. In strict terms, there are three categories of sign language differentiated by users and purpose and these are deaf sign languages, auxiliary sign languages and signed modes of languages. The first contains various types all specific to various deaf communities all over the world, the second is a system of signed languages that vary in complexity and the third refers to manually coded languages that are a link between signed and oral languages (“Sign Language”). Sign language is defined by the two aspects of signals and visual signs as essentially out of all the five senses, eyes are the main facilitators. Visual signs are the most preferred form of sign language as they are universally understood and easy to remember. For instance, in a business setup graphs and charts are used to illustrate the performance of a company in an analytical manner. This is economical compared to having to print out financial documents such as balance sheets. Photographs and pictures in color arouse an interest and motivate people in a presentation setting such as a classroom or boardroom. Drawings and posters as well are used for informative purposes as they can relay information to illiterate people. For example, the drawing of a person holding a cigarette with various rotting body parts has been used to illustrate the dangers of smoking. At the same time, posters are used for advertisements and publicity. However, in most cases visual signs cannot be used alone they have to be accompanied with some form of writing. In addition, they can only convey simple ideas thus, for proper communication they have to be accompanied by gestures and/or hand signals; and they are likely to get misunderstood plus correcting them is difficult (Kumar 270). On the other hand, signals make use of hands and other parts of the body as well as facial expressions. This is useful in combat and stealthy situations where one needs to communicate quickly without getting noticed. For deaf and mute communities, sign language is a specialized system of communication that includes their grammar system. In this case, sign language is transmitted through three systems oral, complementary forms of oral systems and signs. Oral systems attempt to make use of the minimal hearing capability of deaf people and they include lip reading along with use of verbal-tonal systems. Complementary forms of oral systems promote oral language through cued speech and bimodal communication, using both sign language systems and certain aspects of verbal communication. Lastly, signs are dependent of five factors- facial expressions, orientation, movement, hand gestures and location. For instance, touching one’s mouth using all the fingers except the thumb is used to gesture gratitude (Pfau, Steinbach and Woll 523). Notably as well, sign language is used for comical entertainment as is the case with pantomimes where gestures are dramatized accompanied by music. Children and adults with communication problems and learning disabilities such as autism make use of sign languages using a system known as ... Read More
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