Introduction to the Study of Sign Language Among the North American Indians ... (Google eBook)

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U.S. Government Printing Office, 1880 - Gesture - 72 pages
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Page 9 - Indians or deaf-mutes now communicate similar information by the same agency. CONCLUSIONS. It may be conceded that after man had attained to all his present faculties, he did not choose between the adoption of voice and gesture, and never, with those faculties, was in a state where the one was used to the absolute exclusion of the other. The epoch, however, to which our speculations relate, is that in which he had not reached the present symmetric development of his intellect and of his bodily organs,...
Page 15 - ... been peculiar. In other cases, with the same conception and attempted characterization, another, yet equally appropriate, delineation has been selected, and when both of the differing delineations have been abbreviated the diversity is vastly increased. The original conception, being independent, has necessarily also varied, because all objects have several characteristics, and what struck one set of people as the most distinctive of these would not always so impress another. From these reasons...
Page 34 - Sign Language among North American Indians" (497a), and the book of Mr. WP Clark on Indian Sign Language (420). Colonel Mallery tells us that "the Egyptian hieroglyphists, notably in the designation of Horus, their dawn-god, used the •finger in or on the lips for 'child.
Page 16 - The one collected by Prince Maximilian von Wied-Neu-Wied, in 1832-34, from the Cheyenne, Shoshoni, Arikara, Satsika, and the Absaroki, the Mandans, Hidatsa, and other Northern Dakotas."™ This list is not published in the English edition, but appears in the German, Coblenz, 1839, and in the French, Paris, 1840. Bibliographic reference is often made to this distinguished explorer as " Prince Maximilian," as if there were but one possessor of that Christian name among princely families.
Page 10 - It is enough to admit that the connection between them was so early and intimate that the gestures, in the wide sense indicated of presenting ideas under physical forms, had a direct formative effect upon many words ; that they exhibit the earliest condition of the human mind ; are traced from the...
Page 71 - Word or idea expressed by sign : A lie. DESCRIPTION : Touch the left breast over the heart, and pass the hand forward from the mouth, the two first fingers only being extended and slightly separated ( L, 1 — with thumb resting on third finger).
Page 54 - ... would be the cross and the crescent to those ignorant of history. The last named objects appeared in the class of emblems when used in designating the conflicting powers of Christendom and Islamism. Emblems do not necessarily require any analogy between the objects representing, and the objects or qualities represented, but may arise from pure accident. After a scurrilous jest the beggar's wallet became the emblem of the confederated nobles , the Gueux of the Netherlands; and a sling, in the...
Page 10 - ... highly-advanced languages a necessary modifying factor, and that only when a language has become so artificial as to be completely expressible in written signs — indeed, has been remodelled through their long familiar use — can the bodily signs be wholly dispensed with. The story has been told by travellers in many parts of the world that various languages cannot be clearly understood in the dark by their possessors, using their mother tongue between themselves. The evidence for this anywhere...
Page 9 - With due allowance for all purely imitative sounds and for the spontaneous action of the vocal organs under excitement, it appears that the connection between ideas and words is only to be explained by a compact between the speaker and hearer which supposes...
Page 54 - Cheyenne, &c., are their emblems precisely as the star-spangled flag is that of the United States, but there is nothing symbolic in any of them. So the signs for individual chiefs, when not merely translations of their names, are emblematic of their family totems or personal distinctions, and are no more symbols than are the distinctive shoulderstraps of army officers. The crux ansata and the circle formed by a snake biting its tail are symbols, but consensus as well as invention was necessary for...

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