Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind
  • Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind
  • Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind

Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind

by Margalit Fox
     
 

ISBN-10: 0743247132

ISBN-13: 9780743247139

Pub. Date: 08/05/2008

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Imagine a village where everyone "speaks" sign language. Just such a village -- an isolated Bedouin community in Israel with an unusually high rate of deafness -- is at the heart of Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind. There, an indigenous sign language has sprung up, used by deaf and hearing villagers alike. It is a language no…  See more details below

Overview

Imagine a village where everyone "speaks" sign language. Just such a village -- an isolated Bedouin community in Israel with an unusually high rate of deafness -- is at the heart of Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind. There, an indigenous sign language has sprung up, used by deaf and hearing villagers alike. It is a language no outsider has been able to decode, until now.

A New York Times reporter trained as a linguist, Margalit Fox is the only Western journalist to have set foot in this remarkable village. In Talking Hands, she follows an international team of scientists that is unraveling this mysterious language.

Because the sign language of the village has arisen completely on its own, outside the influence of any other language, it is a living demonstration of the "language instinct," man's inborn capacity to create language. If the researchers can decode this language, they will have helped isolate ingredients essential to all human language, signed and spoken. But as Talking Hands grippingly shows, their work in the village is also a race against time, because the unique language of the village may already be endangered.

Talking Hands offers a fascinating introduction to the signed languages of the world -- languages as beautiful, vital and emphatically human as any other -- explaining why they are now furnishing cognitive scientists with long-sought keys to understanding how language works in the mind.

Written in lyrical, accessible prose, Talking Hands will captivate anyone interested in language, the human mind and journeys to exotic places.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743247139
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
08/05/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
411,410
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents


Introduction

1. In the Village of the Deaf

2. "What Is This Wonderful Language?"

3. The Road to Al-Sayyid

4. The Sign-Language Instinct

5. Starry Night

6. The Atoms of Sign

7. The House of Blue Roses

8. Everyone Here Speaks Sign Language

9. Hyssop

10. The Web of Words

11. The House Built from the Second Story Down

12. Grammar in Midair

13. Hassan's House

14. A Sign in Mind

15. The House of Twenty Children

16. The Signing Brain

17. In a Wet Place

Afterword: It Takes a Village

A Note on Sources

References

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

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