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The Gestural Origin of Language$
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David F. Armstrong and Sherman E. Wilcox

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195163483

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195163483.001.0001

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Invention of Visual Languages

Invention of Visual Languages

(p.115) 7 Invention of Visual Languages
The Gestural Origin of Language

David F. Armstrong

Sherman E. Wilcox

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines archeological evidence for the invention of writing and historical evidence concerning the emergence of the signed languages for the deaf to support the theory that language emerges first visually and gesturally. It shows that the development of these linguistic systems followed similar paths at places and at times that were widely separated. These events can be considered independent of one another and, thus, reflective of some fundamental human attribute.

Keywords:   writing, sign language, archaeological evidence, gesture

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