Sign Language history: 16th century

1521

"Rudolf Agricola, a Dutch humanist, believed that the Deaf could communicate via writing. He advocated the theory that the ability of speech was seperate from the ability of thought. He wrote De Inventione Dialectica." -- Gallaudet University Archives

1501--

Geronimo Cardano, a physician of Padua, northern Italy, proclaimed that deaf people could learn and understandas well as the ability to reason via signed communication and writing.
Butterworth, et al., 1995

"In France, a Spanish alphabet of the 16th century was embodied through the labours of Pereira and his deaf pupil Saboureaux de Fontenay, from the original work of the Benedictine monk, Pedro Ponce de Leon (1520-84)." (Cristhley, p. 33)

"Rather earlier the way was prepared by the teachings of Jerome Cardano (1501-75), who rebelled against the current acceptance of Aristotle's teaching, that connected thought was impossible without speech." (Critchley, p. 33)

17th Century

Juan Pablo de Bonet published the first book on teaching sign language to deaf people that contained the manual alphabet in 1620. -- Butterworth, et al., 1995 Though, sign language was already instinctively developed by deaf signers.

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Related links: Timeline: 1800.

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