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William Stokoe

William Stokoe (pronounced Stokie) is a linguist who made the first dictionary of American Sign Language. He invented a written notation for sign language. Unlike Sign Writing, it is not iconic, but draws on the uses of handshapes in fingerspelling. Thus '5' means the fingers spread, a flat hand is denoted by 'B', and '8' indicates that the thumb and middle finger are forward, maybe touching, while the others are spread. He also invented the words dez, sig, and tab for kinds of chiremes, as vowels and consonants are kinds of phonemes.



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