I'm guessing you've never seen a group of deaf folks all talking at once!Dezinaa wrote:I've been nerding out about sign languages recently.
By necessity, conversations would only allow one person to talk at a time.
Anak! Don't talk with your hands full! It's not nice.Vocalizations could be used for emphasis, onomatopoeia, and getting someone’s attention, but there would be no full-fledged spoken languages. Some simple messages could be conveyed vocally, like “Stop,” “Hello,” “Help me,” “Excuse me,” etc, and highly specialized trade-specific signals.
Communicating while using one's hands for something else would be akin to talking with your mouth full.
Possibly also more rhythmic in nature. Choral signing would definitely be a thing. Although their harmonisation / choreography leaves a bit to be desired. Their disjointed movements, each individual with his own idiosyncratic interpretation of signs in space and time, would be like an annoyingly out-of-tune quire among language speakers.Singing and dancing would be combined. It would use rhythmic, exaggerated hand movements and body/foot movements. Instead of bands having a lead singer, they would have a lead signer. (Something like this, minus the actual singing, of course.) The implications for poetry are pretty beautiful too, in my opinion. See here
Sign prosthesis systems would become a necessity, much the way we have external larynxes for vocal cordless people.Individuals that break/lose one or both of their arms (assuming this species has two arms) would have a difficult time communicating.
If they have a written form of the language, a morse system would not be all that difficult to come up with. If anything, signed language is far more amenable to morsification. They might for example develop a simple morse code where you bob your hand up and down as if rapping on someone's (chamber) door. Each rap with closed fist is a dot; each strike with a flattened hand is a dash. A manual morse code. Very handy (coo, pun totally intended!) for quick communication across a room, for example. With the bonus that a morse signer can carry on two convos at once using both hands.The advent of telecommunication would be delayed, because there doesn't seem to be any intuitive way to transcribe sign language into a Morse Code-like system.
Please do!I have to put this all in a conworld! This new aspect of conlanging/conworlding is exciting.
Also: monks who take vows of silence might wear mittens. Perhaps, like when you were a kid and had a string connecting the two so you wouldn't lose them. Such a binding would hinder signed speech, rendering the monks so bound essentially voiceless.