Is anyone here deaf?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Seattle, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    If anyone here is deaf I'd be interested to learn how you think or rather when you are thinking what form that "inner voice" takes. It would be interesting to know if you have always been deaf and if you use sign language, lip reading or vocalizations of any sort when communicating with non-deaf people.
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  3. Jake Arave Icthyologist/Ethologist Registered Senior Member

    I myself, am not deaf. I do, however, know some folks who are, and I have asked them a very similar question. I asked them "How do you communicate, or prefer to communicate to those who aren't 'hard of hearing'".
    The answer was actually astounding to me, one of those whom I asked told me that when he was in elementary school, his mother forced him to press his fingers to her neck - so as to reciprocate the vibration that she was making. He was actually quite literate, despite all of the struggles that opposed his progression. I think that when you are incapable of understanding the other person, humans in general still attempt to vocalize even though you cannot hold a conversation this way. It is much more relaxed and less strenuous to speak using sign language, as true "Lip Reading" is almost impossible, even if you have complete mastery of the English language.
    I would take a deaf man's testimony over my own, though, I was just trying to convey some second hand information given to me.
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member


    I used to go scuba diving with a guy who was deaf. Underwater we are all mute of course but not deaf. Sound is used to get someone's attention as well as using a light. Sound didn't work for him of course.

    Topside while not diving he was decent at reading lips as I did not know sign language but he also brought a pad of paper with him and preferred that people exchange short written messages with him.

    My main interest with this post however so to get more information as to what the "inner voice" is like with someone who is deaf.

    Some think to themselves in sign language. That's what they visualize whereas we "hear" an inner voice. Some only see images and not sign language.

    I think most "think" in terms of sign language though.
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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

  8. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

  9. Jake Arave Icthyologist/Ethologist Registered Senior Member

    It's a lot similar to asking a bilingual individual which language they think in. I would broadly assume that thinking in signs is the most efficient - as it leaves less room for linguistic error.
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    You need to learn more about sign language. It has as many subtleties and shades of meaning as spoken language. Like most people with hearing, most deaf people have two hands, allowing them to form two signs at once. Positional references such as which hand forms which sign, which one was formed first, which one is higher, etc., express a lot of nuances.
  11. Jake Arave Icthyologist/Ethologist Registered Senior Member

    I understand all of this already - to someone who has been widely unfamiliar with the replication of language for their entire life, it seems less ambiguous to use signs. There is no evidence I have for this, it just seems more logical I suppose.
  12. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Helen Keller was both blind and deaf but she learned how to communicate by using the palm of her hand where the letters were formed to bring her to understand what was going on and teaching her to become a literate and college educated person.
  13. Jake Arave Icthyologist/Ethologist Registered Senior Member

    Her case is the most extraordinary that I've ever found.
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Sign language surely has as much capacity for nuance as spoken language.

    But the problems with sign language are twofold:
    • 1. You have to look at the person who is talking. This takes your attention away from anything else you're doing--including activities as important (in earlier times) as watching for danger.
    • 2. You have to use at least one hand to talk. This makes it difficult to do many things, and utterly impossible to do anything that requires both hands.

    That said, it's almost certain that humans used sign language before they developed spoken language. Anthropologists, archeologists and linguists find strong evidence that the technology of spoken language was discovered/invented around 70KYA. At this point in prehistory, we find a veritable explosion of complex, coordinated tasks that could not possibly have been performed by people who were using at least one hand to communicate, and who had to look away from whatever they were doing in order to read the hand signs made by other people.

    It's likely not a coincidence that the first successful migration out of Africa occurred around 60KYA, after our ancestors had 100 centuries to expand and perfect their new communication technology.

    Of course, in the modern era, sign language is more practical than in the Stone Age. The average person can devote his vision to watching someone else communicate, and/or devote his hands to communicating, without risking deadly danger. This is a godsend to the deaf community.

    Nonetheless, it's humbling to realize that life was not always like this.
  15. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    I am not permanently deaf, but am made partially deaf by excessive ear wax production.
    If I have my ears syringed, my hearing is very good, but my ears go into overdrive to cause the same problem within days.
    So I put up with it.
    At the moment, one ear is OK, and that's enough hearing for my requirements.

    I think you can have an operation to cure the problem.
    A non-surgical permanent solution will win you 1 Pirate Point.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  16. Anew Life isn't a question. Banned

    deafness is known to be healed by speaking with a speech professionals whom have capacity of more earthen voice capacity (as it kinda is that all people do) to help beings overcome deafness, and reach standard hearing and speaking.
    it's really weird when people lie about such serious matters as having being deaf, and knowing the truth of the realism of the possibility of the professional healing of the condition.. some beings had been healed to worth of speaking and hearing,and have been known to still use sign language as they like to,which is fine, Yet using the fact that they are blessed to have had returned speech and hearing in wrong ways isn't o.k. nope not at all. , especially when they could choose to consider to work to create the validity's that the condition have valid professional standing for overcoming the matter, and written materials alighting to the variable behavioristic reasons as to why deafness occurs in a compassionate, empathic way of the precursers of the condition instead of taking things for granted, one would afer to maintain integral unbigoted stances concerning the matter; as professionality's that would represent such value, as all professional businesses really need not disadvantage beings for advantage, such business professionality puts a big glitch in humanity, therefore stifiling what greater possibility we as people can have to grace the idea of working in the literally neverending quest for humans to get closer to representing humaneity as itself a greater collective structurist value.
  17. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Citation needed.

    I'll have Thousand Island with that.
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    This is 100% bullshit. In most cases, deafness is a physical problem, not a cognitive one.

    Please provide a link to your source for this. Otherwise I will delete your post.

    Thank you,
    Fraggle Rocker,
  19. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Reminiscent of researchers concluding that those suffering from severe aphasia can still think, but then having little curiosity in discovering precisely how extreme aphasic victims do so without words / language at all. Have accordingly been curious about such [in regard to the deaf] myself in the past, but likewise lacked direct access to "deaf since birth" responders for the questions. Ergo, just the same second-hand stuff below which you've already encountered. When a case of bilateral anacusis does rarely express thought / language with an "inner voice" in addition to the typical visualizations, there's still a problem of the deaf person being able to provide others with the supposed aural experience of "what it is like".

    Daven Hiskey: "What is surprising is those who were born completely deaf but learn to speak through vocal training will occasionally think not only in the particular sign language that they know, but also will sometimes think in the vocal language they learned, with their brains coming up with how the vocal language sounds." --From an individual who had already researched multiple sources (including Oliver Sacks' noteworthy book) and provided a summary:

    Sample of scattered web comments from individuals claiming to be deaf or know someone who is:

    "Deaf people tend to think visually rather than linguistically. My boyfriend signs to himself when he's thinking, signs in his sleep rather than talking, and visualizes things as pictures rather than words. I've known sign launguage for 2 years now and even I find myself thinking in sign." --submitted by eternashine

    "I'm deaf; I read lip and speak well and I use sign language -both English and American Sign Language. I hear myself when I talk to myself and my consicious like I'm a hearing person in my thoughts, no signing! My husband is deaf, cannot read lips or speak. He uses American Sign Language and says he uses sign language in his thoughts -even his conscious signs too! He also dream and he sleep walks in sign language -fascinating to watch! I've asked my friends -some say the other way like mine.I tried to see myself thinking in sign language -urgh, it hurts, LOL -kidding, no I couldn't do it, I'm just used to hear and speak in my thoughts. However, in my dreams -everyone I know who's deaf uses sign language ~talks!!!!" --submitted by NoHearYa

    "I'm deaf and thinks in pictures, photos or images. I can read and write but have to translates written English on the internet and books." --submitted by Anonymous
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015

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