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Sign language is the natural language of the deaf community. As a non-verbal, visual language, sign is clearly different in form from that of spoken languages; however the same purpose is achieved by its use - communication. Although sign language is used in almost every nation of the world, it is not a universal language.


Sometimes, sign is confused with the practice of pantomime, but sign language does not include its environment. This paper aims to review sign language in general. Firstly, the nature of signs will be described. Secondly, the similarities and differences between sign and spoken language will be presented. Finally, a conclusion shall synthesize the main points of the paper.
Sign takes place in 3-D space also known as "signing space," which is usually close to the trunk of the body and the head. Signs can be wither one or two-handed. When only one-handed a dominant hand performs the sign, and in two-handed signing, the non-dominant hand comes into play.
It has only lately been realized that the non-manual forms of sign are able to effectively express the feelings of the signer (Weaver and Pentland 1). This is similar to verbal speaker's ability to transmit meaning through non-verbal means. However, for signers, non-manual channels are also critical to communicate the grammar of the language. Unfortunately, not much is known as yet about non-manual forms as compared to manual forms, however current research interests into this topic may change this.
It is not unusual for a child to learn sign from ...
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