Sign Language vs Spoken Language
The difference between sign language and spoken language is in the way they convey information. In the modern world, a number of languages are in use. Some of these are spoken languages while others are sign languages. These two types of languages are different from one another and should be viewed as natural languages. A spoken language can be understood as an auditory and a vocal language. A sign language is a language where gestures and facial expressions are used in order to convey information. This is the main difference between the two languages. However, it has to be stated that both languages can be used to convey all sorts of information. It can be news, conversations about day to day activities, stories, narrations, etc. Through this article let us examine the differences between the two languages.
What is Spoken Language?
A spoken language can also be considered as an oral language. This is because it uses various sound patterns to convey a message to another. These sound patterns are referred to as vocal tracts. In spoken language, there are many linguistic elements such as vowels, consonants, and even the tone. The tone of the speaker is very significant because in most cases the meaning is conveyed through the change in the speaker’s tone. One can even state that, in spoken language, the context of the speaker is of great importance in grasping the meaning. We can express the same set of words and convey a different meaning by changing our tone.
In the spoken language, grammar plays a key role, in conveying the message to the listener. Words are put together into phrases and sentences, where rules of grammar strictly apply. For very small children, the language that they hear all the time becomes their first language because this is acquired with least effort through usage and the surrounding environment.
What is Sign Language?
A sign language is quite different to a spoken language. It is a language where gestures and facial expressions are used in order to convey information instead of vocal tracts. This is one of the key differences between a sign language and a spoken language. Just as spoken languages, there are a number of sign languages in the world. Some of these are recognized world over. In every country, there is one or more sign languages used by people. These are used by deaf and blind individuals.
Research that have been conducted on sign language has emphasized that, just as oral languages, sign languages are not mere gestures but are complex systems that have specific linguistic properties. Most people believe that sign languages have derived from spoken languages. This is a gross misconception. They have to be considered as independent and natural languages that have evolved over the time, just as any spoken language.
What is the difference between Sign Language and Spoken Language?
• Definitions between Sign Language and Spoken Language:
• A spoken language can be considered as an oral language where vocal tracts are used.
• A sign language is a language where gestures and facial expressions are used in order to convey information.
• In a spoken language, vocal tracts are used to convey a message.
• In the case of a sign language, gestures and facial expressions are used for this purpose.
• Importance of Grammar:
• In both spoken and sign language, grammar plays a key role in connecting words into phrases and sentences.
• Movements Used:
• Spoken languages use the movement of the vocal tracts and mouth.
• Sign languages use the movement of hands, face and arms.
• Both languages consist of complex structural elements and can be used to convey information.
- English alphabet via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
- British sign language alphabet by Cowplopmorris (CC BY-SA 3.0)