International sign: a practitioner's perspective

Autor/a: MOODY, William
Año: 2002
Editorial: Journal of Interpretation (2002) pp.1-47.
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Signos Internacionales


International  Sign, the  international  communication  used among  deaf  people,  has  been  in use for at least the past  150 years. It has  gone  by  various names throughout history: universal sign language, international  gestures, Gestuno, or International Sign. But what is it, exactly? Today, of course, we know that each deaf community has its own sign language, and those languages are more or  less mutually incomprehensible (depending on their historical relations). Then how do we explain the fact that signers fluent in at least one sign language can manage to communicate with signers  in a completely different and mutually unintelligible sign language? Is International Sign a language? Is it even  international?  Where did it come from? When did it appear? How does it work?

With the rapid increase in the number of international conferences such as the recent Deaf Way II festival and the World Symposium   of   Sign   Language   Interpreters   this   year   in Washington,   and   the   XIV  World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf next year  in  Montreal,  interest  in International Sign in the US is growing. Now with over 20 years of  research on international communication among sign languages, it is time to take another look at what we know about International  Sign: its history,  its  use, and  what  we as  interpreters can learn from it.