Signed languages are natural human languages used by deaf people around the world as their native or primary language. The term signed is used, parallel to the terms spoken and written, to refer to the modalities in which language is expressed. Signed language is a broad category that includes languages, such as American Sign Language (ASL), that are used by a relatively large community often across multiple continents, and village sign languages that arise when a number of deaf children are born into an indigenous community. Several myths and misunderstandings have pervaded the understanding of the first class of signed languages, the natural signed languages of large communities of Deaf people.

One misunderstanding is that signed languages are merely depictive gestures and are not linguistically structured. ...

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