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Sign Language: JSL Fingerspelling

  • By: Soya Mori
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

While Taiwan Sign Language does not have a fingerspelling system, Chinese Sign Language, Korean Sign Language, and Japanese Sign Language (JSL) have their own fingerspelling systems. In many countries, fingerspelling follows the writing system of the country. When we talk about fingerspelling in Asian countries, then, we should take this into consideration. Some Asian countries have their own original and non-Roman-alphabetical writing systems while most European American countries use alphabetical writing systems. This situation has a large impact on fingerspelling systems. Japan is a typical case, and for this reason, this article uses JSL as a central example.

History and Brief Overview

In JSL, the fingerspelling system follows Hiragana or Katakana, the written Japanese systems. This writing system was established in 1900 by the Elementary School Order ...

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