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From Hearing Health
“Everything existing in the universe is the fruit of chance and necessity.” Quoting Democritus’ statement of 2400 years ago, Stokoe begins his final book. He died soon after finishing this important work. Stokoe capitalizes upon this simple credo to trace the development of language in humans: gesture-to-language-to-speech. Intrinsic to this proposition is that speech is sufficient for language but not necessary. “Chance,” Stokoe writes, “brought humans down from the trees to the ground, freeing their hands for gesture and, later, sign language, a progression that came from the necessity to communicate.”
Drawing from decades of research, Stokoe demonstrates how our ancestors’ powers of observation and natural hand movements could have evolved into signed morphemes.
William C. Stokoe was Professor Emeritus at Gallaudet University and the founding editor of Sign Language Studies.
ISBN 1-56368-103-X, 6 x 9 hardcover, 246 pages, footnotes, endnotes, sign illustrations, bibliography, index
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