i need help..........?

does anybody know who invented american sign language please with your answer give resources cuz i dont wanna take a chance i have an asl history report to do.............

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    This should be helpful....good luck.


    American Sign Language History

    History of Sign Language

    It was in the sixteenth century that Geronimo Cardano,a physician of Padua, in northern Italy, proclaimed that deaf people could be taught to understand written combinations of symbols by associating them with the thing they represented. The first book on teaching sign language to deaf people that contained the manual alphabet was published in 1620 by Juan Pablo de Bonet.

    In 1755 Abbe Charles Michel de L'Epee of Paris founded the first free school for deaf people. He taught that deaf people could develop communication with themselves and the hearing world through a system of conventional gestures, hand signs, and fingerspelling. He created and demonstrated a language of signs whereby each would be a symbol that suggested the concept desired.

    The abbe was apparently a very creative person, and the way he developed his sign language system was by first recognizing, then learning the signs that were already being used by a group of deaf people in Paris. To this knowledge he added his own creativeness which resulted in a signed version of spoken French. He paved the way for deaf people to have a more standardized language of their own--one which would effectively bridge the gap between the hearing and non hearing worlds.

    Another prominent deaf educator of the same period (1778) was Samuel Heinicke of Leipzig, Germany. Heinicke did not use the manual method of communication but taught speech and speechreading. He established the first public school for deaf people that achieved government recognition. These two methods (manual and oral) were the forerunners of today's concept of total communication. Total communication espouses the use of all means of available communication, such as sign language, gesturing, fingerspelling, speechreading, speech, hearing aids, reading, writing, and pictures.

    In America the Great Plains Indians developed a fairly extensive system of signing, but this was more for intertribal communication than for deaf people, and only vestiges of it remain today. However, it is interesting to note some similarities existing between Indian sign language and the present system.

    America owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, an energetic Congregational minister who became interested in helping his neighbor's young deaf daughter, Alice Cogswell. He traveled to Europe in 1815, when he was twenty-seven, to study methods of communicating with deaf people. While in England he met Abbe Roche Ambroise Sicard, who invited him to study at his school for deaf people in Paris. After several months Gallaudet returned to the United States with Laurent Clerc, a deaf sign language instructor from the Paris school.

    In 1817 Gallaudet founded the nation's first school for deaf people, in Hartford, Connecticut, and Clerc became the United States' first deaf sign language teacher. Soon schools for deaf people began to appear in several states. Among them was the New York School for the Deaf, which opened its doors in 1818. In 1820 a school was opened in Pennsylvania, and a total of twenty-two schools had been established throughout the United States by the year 1863.

    An important milestone in the history of education for deaf people was the founding of Gallaudet College, in Washington, D.C. in 1864, which remains the only liberal arts college for deaf people in the United States and the world.

    Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet passed on his dream of a college for deaf people to his son, Edward Miner Gallaudet, who with the help of Amos Kendall made the dream a reality. Edward Miner Gallaudet became the first president of the new college.

    Today we are fortunate to have one of the most complete and expressive sign language systems of any country in the world. We owe much to the French sign system, from which many of our present-day signs, though modified, have been derived.

    It might be noted here that many deaf people use a different grammatical structure when signing, usually among themselves, known technically as American Sign Language, or ASL. But signing in English word order continues to grow in popularity and is widely used by both deaf people and hearing people. It is easier for a hearing person to learn sign language in English syntax than to learn signing with the grammatical structure of ASL.

    Interest continues to grow in sign language, and it is now the fourth most used language in the United States. Many sign language classes are offered in communities, churches, and colleges.


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  • 1 decade ago

    Sign language for the deaf was first systematized in France during the 18th century by Abbot Charles-Michel l'Epée. French Sign Language (FSL) was brought to the United States in 1816 by Thomas Gallaudet, founder of the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Conn. He developed American Sign Language (ASL), a language of gestures and hand symbols that express words and concepts.

    In many respects, sign language is just like any spoken language, with a rich vocabulary and a highly organized, rule-governed grammar. But in sign language, information is processed through the eyes rather than the ears. Thus, facial expression and body movement play an important part in conveying information.

    In spoken language, the relationship between most words and the objects and concepts they represent is arbitrary—there is nothing about the word “tree” that actually suggests a tree, either in the way it is spelled or pronounced. In the same way, in sign language most signs do not suggest, or imitate, the thing or idea they represent, and must be learned. Sign language may be acquired naturally as a child's first language, or it may be learned through study and practice.

    Sign language shares other similarities with spoken languages. Like any living language, ASL grows and changes over time to accommodate native users' needs. ASL also has regional varieties, equivalent to spoken accents, with different signs being used in different parts of the country.

    American Manual Alphabet

    Along with sign language and lip reading, many deaf people also communicate with the manual alphabet, which uses finger positions that correspond to the letters of the alphabet to spell out words and names.


    Braille Alphabet

    Braille is a system of printing and writing for the blind created in 1824 by Louis Braille (1809–1852), a French inventor who went blind from an accident when he was three. Each character in Braille is made up of an arrangement of one-to-six raised points used in 63 possible combinations. Braille is read by passing the fingers over the raised characters. A universal Braille code for English-speaking countries was adopted in 1932.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You might look up the name Gallaudet. There is a college named for him and he was hearing impaired. I am more familar with SEE and not ASL. I saw this name in my SEE book, by Gerilee Gustason, Donna Pfetzing and Esther Zawolkow

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A simple Google search for "American Sign Language history" turns up a wealth of sources, including the following:




    If this is for a school report, however, you'll want to include sources other than those you get from a Google search of the 'Net. See your friendly local librarian!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Try this link:


    It will give you all you need to know and probably some info you don't need as well!

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  • 1 decade ago

    type "Amerslan' into your search engine and you'll get tons of information.,

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This is easy to look up.

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