Who invented sign language?

It was long ago that early man used gestures to express himself. He was the first to use sign language. In 1620 Juan Pablo de Bonet was the one to write a book which had the first alphabet system known to man. He used different signs through hand shapes to represent different sounds of speech. People do believe that Martha’s Vineyard inhabitants have contributed to the invention of sign language. Martha’s Vineyard is off the coast of Massachusetts and this was here that deaf people made use of the sign language because deafness was hereditary and quite common in the 17th century. Though it came after Bonet’s book but still it was the main cause for the development of deaf schools.

In 1771 Abbe Charles Michel de L’Epee found the first school for the deaf in Paris and through the standard sign language created by him, he used to teach them. He got students from all around the country, he picked up signs used by them and created a sign language which eventually became the French sign language and came in wide use.

Laurent Clerc and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet started the first American school for the deaf in 1817 and were believed to be the inventors for the American Sign Language. Though Laurent was a European and taught French Sign Language but Thomas brought him to America to take his help in the school. The result shows that invention of the American Sign Language was a joint venture of home made signs and French Sign language.

9 comments

  1. tori · December 7, 2010

    i love doing sign language it is fun i am 11 and have this boy in my class and i love talking to him

  2. REBECCA kEENE · December 7, 2010

    I have a two year old son who was diagnosed with hydrocephaleus on 2008 He is currently being taught by therapists sighn language.Im trying really hard to learn it also…What a great helpful website!!!!

  3. gary karamani · December 7, 2010

    a thumb extended , an indix finger and pinky extended, what does that mean??

  4. cassandra carter · December 7, 2010

    I want to tell you that i would like a book or flash cards to study on my on time and not at work but i can’t afford anything at the moment is there anyway i can go about getting matterial to study my hearing is getting worse and i feel like i need to learn sign language.

  5. april Shepherd · December 7, 2010

    My sister is deaf and its a wonderful experience to have and you can also build a career in this communication

  6. joi jones · December 7, 2010

    im not deaf but i want to go to college to teach deaf children but im only 11 so that has been my life long dream and this has helped me learn

  7. OGUNSOLA KEHINDE · December 7, 2010

    I Kehinde i appreciate dis pic dat i saw on the net i like it so much

  8. kimbella gomez · December 7, 2010

    This website is the best!!!!! I love it….Its awsomeeeeee

  9. Jessica Miller · December 7, 2010

    Hi i think it was a good idea for whoever made sign language because now kids who have challenges have a way to speak which makes my whole happier because i love seeing kids who have strong feelings being able to speak what they feel.