Talking Hands

Talking Hands

What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind

Book - 2007
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Baker & Taylor
Documents life in a remote Bedouin village in Israel whose residents communicate through a unique method of sign language used by both hearing and non-hearing citizens, and offers insight into the relationship between language and the human mind.

Baker
& Taylor

Documents life in a remote Bedouin village in Israel whose residents communicate through a unique method of sign language used by both hearing and non-hearing citizens, in an account that offers insight into the relationship between language and the human mind. 35,000 first printing.

Simon and 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 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.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, c2007
ISBN: 9780743247122
0743247124
Branch Call Number: 419 F8326t 2007
Characteristics: viii, 354 p. : ill. ; 25 cm

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"Documents life in a remote Bedouin village in Israel whose residents communicate through a unique method of sign language used by both hearing and non-hearing citizens, and offers insight into the relationship between language and the human mind."


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Nerakeel
Jan 11, 2014

Fascinating information re creation of languages.

m
miaone
Oct 24, 2013

A wonderful book. Read it if you have any interest in linguistics, or in sign language by both deaf and hearing people, or in any of the peoples of the Middle East. I'd never have thought I would read with pleasure a non-fiction book that takes place in that beleaguered part of the world, but this is the one. Margalit Fox is, in my opinion, a writer of genius, and you come to care about every person in her book. My inability to praise it highly enough is due to my own lack of skill, not to her writing.

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