A Man Without Words (2nd Edition) by Susan Schaller

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By Susan Schaller

For greater than 1 / 4 of a century, Ildefonso, a Mexican Indian, lived in overall isolation, set except the remainder of the realm. He wasn't a political prisoner or a social recluse, he used to be easily born deaf and had by no means been taught even the main uncomplicated language. Susan Schaller, then a twenty-four-year-old graduate scholar, encountered him in a category for the deaf the place she have been despatched as an interpreter and the place he sat remoted, when you consider that he knew no signal language. She discovered him evidently clever and sharply observant yet not able to speak, and he or she felt pressured to deliver him to a comprehension of phrases. The publication vividly conveys the problem, the frustrations, and the excitement of starting the brain of a congenitally deaf individual to the concept that of language. This moment variation contains a new bankruptcy and afterword.

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Additional resources for A Man Without Words (2nd Edition)

Example text

He lowered his head and studied its form, clenched his jaw, leaning rigidly forward and uncrossing his ankles so he could set his feet flat on the floor. He was preparing for this new work like a sprinter at the starting line. He tried to copy cat, but the resulting scrawl was illegible. I walked behind him to guide his hand for a second cat. His hand, a fisted knot gripping the pencil, felt like a rock. Indeed, the lead broke when he pressed the paper for the stem of the a. Without looking up, he accepted another pencil and continued.

Perhaps they could answer my questions. I didn't think so and ignored the suggestion. I called Laura back to see if she had another lead. She suddenly remembered Ursula Bellugi. Everyone who learns sign language hears about all the great interpreters, song-signers, deaf actors, and the linguist Ursula Bellugi. Since sign language was not perceived as equal to other languages until recently, the study of it differs from that of any other second language. When one studies German, for example, one doesn't learn about Martin Luther translating the Bible and standardizing the German language or about the most eloquent poets in modern Germany before learning how to conjugate a few irregular verbs.

Let me show you all the miracles accomplished with symbols, all the bonds and ties between human beings, young and old, and even with those dead for centuries. Come, Ildefonso, eat my "cat" and taste the sweetness of human connections. I will show you how to bathe in the swirling, magical river called Language. You can swim anywhere, meet anyone and anything, or just float on one of those lovely names. Let me open the door to this world that refused to let you join. Let me introduce you to your captors who kept you locked in a black hell of meaninglessness and incomprehensible loneliness.

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