The Ancient Origins of Sign Handshapes

  title={The Ancient Origins of Sign Handshapes},
  author={Georgene Bess Montgomery},
  journal={Sign Language Studies},
  pages={322 - 334}
This article discusses the common origins of written scripts and sign handshapes in tally scores, the board abacus, and finger counting. The early roots of numbers in magic, prognostication, and religious numerology are shown to have resulted in familiarity with alphanumeric code switching particularly in the superstitious practice of fadic addition. The breakthrough of using handshapes for letters, not merely numbers, occurred in eighth-century Northumbria, where Bede recorded a one-hand… 

Fingerspelling and the Appropriation of Language: The Shifting Stakes of a Practice of Signs

Abstract:Recent studies have proven the specificity and advantages of fingerspelling from a linguistic point of view. However, while the use of fingerspelling is widespread today, it is limited to



Reading the Runes

Researchers interested in the music of Peter Maxwell Davies have long been aware of a problem relating to the interpretation the precompositional workings and first-draft scores in the available

Origins of the Alphabet

This book explains the development of alphabets and scripts, the evolution of modern letter forms, and more about how letters have changed over time.

Visual-kinetic communication in Europe before 1600: a survey of signs lexicons and finger alphabets prior to the rise of deaf education.

  • L. Bragg
  • Linguistics
    Journal of deaf studies and deaf education
  • 1997
This survey is meant to provide an overview of the textual evidence and a foundation for both sign language linguists and historians of the deaf education to analyze and interpret more accurately and usefully the extant evidence for visual-kinetic communication systems before the rise of Deaf Education.

The Sciences of Deaf Signing

    Cruel Legacy: An Introduction to Deaf History