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Sign Language: Arabic Fingerspelling

  • By: Mahmoud Ahmad Abdel-Fattah
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Fingerspelling can be used separately to represent a certain word, expression, or speech segment, or can be incorporated into a signed utterance. There may be as many fingerspelling systems as signed languages. The Arabic fingerspelling (ArFS) system is similar to other systems (e.g., American, British, and Danish Sign Language) in certain aspects of function and structure. Although this system is basically used to represent Arabic alphabets, it does share certain characteristics with other systems just like spoken languages share features of similarity and difference in terms of syntax, semantics, and terminology. ArFS uses 48 representations that stand for the Arabic alphabets (29) and other diacritics that are related to different forms of orthographic symbols, case endings, and letter doubling. Moreover, ArFS uses 22 manual representations ...

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