Old Kentish Sign Language
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|Old Kentish Sign Language|
|Native to||formerly the United Kingdom|
According to Peter Webster Jackson (2001), OKSL may have been the language used by a deaf boy described by 17th century British writer Samuel Pepys in his Diaries.[page needed] Pepys was dining with his friend Sir George Downing on 9 November 1666, when the deaf servant had a conversation in sign language with his master, which included news of the Great Fire of London. Downing had been to school near Maidstone in Kent, where he lived in a community where congenital deafness was widespread. This population supported a sign language which was known by many hearing people as well as deaf.[page needed]
As settlers of the Martha's Vineyard communities of Tisbury and Chilmark in Massachusetts migrated from the Kentish Weald, Nora Groce (1985) speculates that OKSL may be the origin of Martha's Vineyard Sign Language, which is, in turn, one of the precursors of American Sign Language (ASL).[page needed] Others have cautioned against uncritical reception of this claim, "because no deaf people were part of the original migration from Kent, and nothing is known about any specific variety of signing used in Kent."
References [ edit ]
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Old Kentish Sign Language". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Jackson, Peter Webster (2001). A Pictorial History of Deaf Britain. Winsford: Deafprint Winsford. ISBN 978-0953220649.
- Jones, Steve (1996). In the Blood – God, Genes & Destiny. London: HarperCollins. p. 10. ISBN 978-0002555111.
- Groce, Nora Ellen (1985). Everyone here spoke sign language: Hereditary deafness on Martha's Vineyard. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-27040-1.
- Woll, Bencie; Sutton-Spence, Rachel; Elton, Frances (2001). "Multilingualism: The global approach to sign languages". In Lucas, Ceil (ed.). The Sociolinguistics of Sign Languages. Cambridge University Press. p. 10. ISBN 0-521-79137-5.
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