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 Having deleted the original request, I am "replying" to this one.
What Miriam's student does need to be aware of is the fact that 
monastic sign language is not a "language" in the same way as
American Sign Language or its British Equivalent. 
Many of the sign languages used by deaf people are true languages,
with (visual) syntax, etc., not just "translations" into sign
of the local vernacular (although such "translation" languages 
also exist.)
The sign languages used in monasteries are simply shorthands
used by individuals who normally used a spoken language (or
even two, their vernacular plus Latin) 
As I recall from my days as a linguistics major (longer ago than
I care to confess) there was a cistercian monk who was 
promoting cistercian sign language as a "true" language; it isn't.
It has a lot of signs, true, but lacks other features of
spoken languages.
Meg



> There is an appendix entitled "Signes de la Parole" in G. de Valous, Le
> monachisme clunisien des origines au XVe siecle (Paris: Picard, 1970),
> vol. I, pp. 91-96.

Margaret Cormack			[log in to unmask]
Dept. of Philosophy and Religion	fax: 843-953-6388
College of Charleston			tel: 843-953-8033
Charleston, SC 29424-0001


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