Sumerian handsignage: symbol-linguistics

a discovery-invention from self-evidence and, a probability that they just did it -integrally- unrecorded

(See also universal protolinguistics, first-half, Sumero-Egyptian-archaic-Hebrew.)

The archaic Sumerians were highly inventive and teachers of mankind, yet themselves new to mankind: whence it is highly likely they integrated rather than segregated the skills they taught: hence they could have taught by combined speech and handsign and written language, to discover whatever mankind would readily learn .... The teacher-tutor simultaneously handsigning while speaking would become quite the effectual attention-getter: especially as it was complete, not mere children's hand-sack-puppetry.

The handsign would be an obvious phonetic reduction of the same speech: A hand imitating the action of the speaking mouth ...

The model we choose here uses either-hand, held up steady, the thumb and four fingers representing the position of the lower lip-or-tongue and upper lip, plus relative and intensive front-back closures, lip-to-lip, lip-to-teeth, tongue-to-teeth, tongue-to-palate, mid-back-tongue-to-palate, far-back-tongue-to-throat ... (Note that this keeps the tongue behind the teeth; and the lip in front):--

BY DEPICTION: (© 2006 screenplay "SHTH! -A story of purpose-" PG-13)

professor (vo)
Firstly,-- I wish to thank you all, for coming this evening....
cut to:
INT. LECTURE HALL "SUMERO-EGYPTIAN HANDSIGNING" - evening
Alert Audience: Dressy adults, some high school students...
BACKWALL VIDEO: CAMERA CU: afore his raised-hand:
professor
(a beat for audience)
Secondly, Thank myself, for coming: I did not want us to miss this: the last of the series....
(a beat)
This is a special night for me, And for-which I make a small disclaimer on what you are about to learn:--
(half a beat)
Your title, "Reading Into History," is exactly what it says:-- This, is back,-compatible fiction: a raw re-invention, where none was extant:--
(a beat)
There is no, archaeological, proof, nor precedent, for believing either the Sumerians or the Egyptians used handsigning: except for the obvious meaning we can discover ourselves-- in teaching "with signs following:"
(palm up relaxed)
BACKWALL VIDEO: His Hand palm-up relaxed:
professor
(confirms backwall video)
Sumerian,-Egyptian, handsignage ...
(to audience)
This, is our rest-position: Palm-up relaxed:-- a neutral, unemphasized, schwa, "Uhhh", Or plain quiet....
(a beat)
Now, The first handsign, is:--
(opens palm full wide)
"Ah"-- Looks obvious: doesn't it?-- The mouth open wide, tongue resting "Ahhh..."-- And it means definitive upwelling outpouring: Outflow, Deep water....
(two-hand gesture)
You're all welcome to try this with me ... So,-- Everybody, Raise, your right-hand ... And say,--
(hand-up palm-open)
"Ahhh..."
Audience giggles,- and conforms hands-up saying, "Ahhh..."
professor
(when quiet, reconfirms)
Now, Watch, as I close all fingers:
(all-fingers gather long)
Still long,-- "Ahh Aww Ohh Uuu...."
(a beat, prompts)
Again: Slower, And everybody...--
professor (unison)
(all-fingers long-gather)
"Ahhh... Awww... Ohhh... Uuuu...."
IN-UNISON: Audience hands: "Ahhh...Awww...Ohhh...Uuuu...."
professor
(palm rest)
Very good!-- That's a lot of vowels you just learned:-- Four the way we Americans count....
(brightens, fingers up)
But, Run that faster, Fingers up:--
(up, wide, long-gather)
"H-Ah...Oh...Uu"-- How! An American indian greeting for, Let's talk...!
Audience giggles... and tries handsigning "Hao", too...
professor
(as it calms)
To get the H, initially, Start with all fingers up-together: closed:--
(all-fingers up closed)
"Hhhh"-- Then burst wide-open:
(flash-open to Ah)
"Hahhh...!"-- And down together:--
(fingers long-gather)
"Ah...Aw...Oh...Uu...."
(a beat)
You can also practice, your H's, by laughing --in handsignage:--
(repeat up close-open...)
"Hah! Hah! Hah...!"-- Like *Spock.
Audience giggles and tries "Hah hah hah..."-- with giggles.
professor
(handworking 'ha-ha's)
Sometimes easier said, than done...
Audience laughs, continuing 'ha-ha'-practice and mutual ...
Audient-1
(high-hands 'haw-haw's)
I've got, it!-- It's easier if, you sign 'Haw-haw-haw' or 'Ho-ho-ho'...
Audience giggles...
Audient-2
(watching Audient-1)
And looks, more-laughable, too....
professor
(blithe)
The whole world, used-to know this.
(half a beat)
Albeit even the indians forgot much as they only show the starting-H:--
(fingers up, thumb out)
"Hhah..."-- Live-long,-and-learn...
(2 beats)
Okay, Now: Push the fingers long--
(fingers long-gathered)
Almost-closed,-- You can even get-- "Wwww"-- The double-U.... Neat...!-
(fingers touch long)
But, fully,-closed, would be B:--
(mouth-and-eyes bulge)
"Bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb..."
Audience giggles...
professor
(understatement)
Not exactly in one's right-mind...
Audience sporadic giggles...
professor
(hand paused)
So we let the air out the nose, and it becomes M:-- "Mmmm..."
(a beat; NB. a nasal)
Nota Bene: True, Sumero-Egyptian-W, was V-like-vibrating-nasal, "Wngh": Something of an M-ish-W or W-ish-M; And they each heard it differently:
(half a beat)
It is where the Greeks got their O-Mega: their Giant,-O...
(2 beats, palm up ready)
Okay... Now, The common consonants: First finger:--
(thumb slaps 1st finger)
"Ba"-- B.... Second finger:
Audience follows quietish-ly:
professor
(thumb slaps 2nd finger)
"Da"-- D.... Third finger:
(thumb slaps 3rd finger)
"Ga"-- G.... Fourth finger:
(thumb slaps 4th finger)
"La"-- L ... A clumsy stretch....
(repeats hand-only)
Like manipulating a glove-puppet...
(a beat)
And, How do we double a consonant?-
(thumb-1st slap-slap)
"Baba"-- double, B-B ...
(thumb-2nd slap-slap)
"Dada"-- doubled, D-D ...
(thumb-3rd slap-slap)
"Gaga"-- doubled, G-G; and ...
(thumb-4th slap-slap)
"Lala".... And, Double suffices for seeing and hearing... And counting.
Checks-about the Audience imitating, a moment...
professor
But note, how we've used the thumb:
(half a beat)
Watch, now, as I instead bring only the thumb around, As the lower lip:
BACKWALL VIDEO: Only thumb swings to point forward at -us-:
professor
(continuous syllable)
"Ahhh...Awww"-- like, Taut.... Yet, Essentially the same "Awww" we had;
(a beat)
But, Moving your lower lip farther,
SWING TO:
professor (mcu)
Back, -behind your teeth,- makes no difference in sound:--
(lower lip deep-inside)
"Awww..."-- the same sound... So,--
(and to backwall video)
BACKWALL VIDEO: Thumb, swings fully across the open palm:
professor
(slowly swings thumb)
Bringing the thumb farther around-- knuckle across the palm-- means the tongue, tip: instead of lip: And,--
(thumb across palm)
"Arrr"-- An R-somewhat-open;- and a real tongue-stretcher at that...
(half a beat)
As was the L,-- almost, as much...!
(new tack)
Okay: Ease it,- Raising the back of the tongue and shortening the mouth is like curling, the fingers:--
(fingertips only to rest)
"Arrr...Errr"-- which is clearer in our English ears, and easier on our English hands:-- "Er"-- pronounced, "Er", and handsigned, "Er" ... But, spelled, "Ar" ... Go figure....
ON HIS HAND: still R:
professor
(holds eR a beat)
So here we see a hint of L-R-fusion found in many tongues: handsigning, R-L ... Watch, the finger-touching:
(thumbs eR-L-eR-L-eR)
"Rrrr-Llll-Rrrr-Llll-Rrrr...."
(2 beats, still palm-eR)
Let's do our first combination:-- A word:-- Watch and listen closely:--
BACKWALL VIDEO: Palm--
professor
(palm eR abruptly open)
"Errr-Ahhh"--
(a beat)
See that?-- Hear it?--
(repeats eR-Ah)
"Ra"-- Fingers fly-apart, like rays of sunlight, from--
(again eR-Ah: brightens)
"Ra"-- The sungod, of Egypt...!--
(a beat, sincere)
And you now know more than all the professors of archaeology-- in the world:-- You now know what archaic Sumero-Egyptians, knew: To invent.
(a beat)
That there is, no, record, of them, handsigning, --nor correlation with cuneiforms and hieroglyphics,-- may mean they handsigned in conjunction with speech ... they integrated not segregated ... handsigning: to keep audience-attention as they spoke!--
(ponders hand-'eR-Ah's)
But you know: While this looks like sunlight pouring out, It may, be an exploding star:-- Ra, may have been an escapee from a supernova....
(nods Sure-sure)
Audience giggles...
professor
On his boat-of-millions of escapees crossing space, millions, of-years.
(CUE FOREGROUND)
professor
(a beat, flash-smiles)
Let's continue: Our flower, "Ahhh":
(palm open full wide)
And hear each vowel, as we curl the fingertips,-- lifting the tongue in back-- keeping the thumb-tip out:--
(fingers only ease a bit)
"Ahhh...Aaah"-- like, bat ...
(fingers curl to forward)
"Aaah...Ehhh"-- like, bet ...
(fingers to easy down)
"Ehhh...Aeee"-- like, bait ...
(fingers to curled)
"Aeee...Eeee"-- like, beat ...
(fingers curled, tight)
"Eeee", tightly,-- like, Yes.... E, which means the closed-house,-of...
(half a beat)
And, a second name:--
(palm reopens to wide)
"Ee...Ah"
(palm repeats Ee-Ah)
"Ee...Ah"-- Yah: Sumerian god E-Ah: House of Groundwater,- also El,-Yah El-E-Ah El-I-yah, modernly Elijah--
(half a beat)
And now you know, twice, as much as all the professors in the world....
CONTINUE AS BACKGROUND:
professor
And, we include the short-vowels in the middle between tight and long:-
(fingers easy-curl-down)
"Ah...Uh..." --and the schwa-- and, "Ih...Uih"-- like, put....
(flexing through vowels)
It's all, easy, natural handsigning where hand and mouth are symbiotic.
[professor](concurrent)
(a beat)
Okay... Fricatives: Consonants that leak air ... We speak V, near B: by bringing the lower lip back, under, preventing full closure-- V: So, We handsign, V, by bringing the thumb, back, under, to adjust B,-to-V:--
(thumb slides down 1st)
"B'vvvv..."-- B-V.
(a beat)
Likewise D-to-Z the tongue under:--
(thumb slides down 2nd)
"D'zzzz" or-further "Zzzh"-- D-Z-J;
(half a beat)
But they, pronounced Z, Zh, anyway;
SWING TO:
[professor(mcu)](concur)
(a beat, finger at teeth)
And we, use our teeth to enhance Z, But it really-is from the tongue:--
(teeth-apart-Zee,-See)
"Zzzzee...-- Ssssee...?"
BACKWALL VIDEO:
[professor](concurrent)
(a beat)
Okay, third:--
(thumb slides down 3rd)
"G'ggggh"-- not a sound in English, But, Close-relative-J, we pronounce all the time: Gentle... Giraffe...
(a beat)
Note this yields two J-like sounds:
(thumb slides down 3rd)
"Ggha", and:--
(thumb slides down 2nd)
"Dzha":- which shows how articulate they could-be; We Americans aren't.
(a beat)
I won't try "Lha":-- L, is, liquid; But Babylon did-have "Lha-mu" Adam: as we form the tip of L like the D:
(mouthes tongue-tip-"L")
'Llll...'-- But open at the sides.
(a beat)
And one more: Extending our tongue-thumb, forward,-instead, We get:--
(thumb out-under 2nd)
"The"-- T-H, the only distinct one:
(lower-lip-protruded)
"Ba" and "Gha" are both idempotent.
(a beat)
And, Nasals -like M: remember?- are 4-finger-consonants held, nasal:--
(thumb holds 1st-2nd-3rd)
"B-M'mmm... D-N'nnn... G-Ngnn...."
(2 beats)
And likewise the aspirations of the sibilances are voiceless consonants which the Sumerians used solely ...
(half a beat)
You've heard it said archaic Hebrew linguistics did-not have vowels ... The truth is, The Sumerians did not have voiced, neither: 'til later...
(a bemused beat)
Story goes, The old-gods hated loud sounds and the young-gods revolted.
Audience laughs.... (-to cut-)
HDTV BACKGROUND CONTINUES TOO:
[professor] (concurrent)
(as continued)
Aspirated consonants by deemphasis: Smaller motion, closer fingers, and curl the tapping finger: Tip-tap:--
(thumb tips 1st-2nd-3rd)
"PA, TA, KA"-- P, T, K ... Context, was important to distinguish sound.
(with fingers close-open)
And if you start, with your fingers close, that will emphasize P-T-K...
(2 beats)
Let's try a few simple words,- And, show you how to start-and-not-start with a vowel... Peer, and, Ap-pear:
(hand neutral-to-P-E-R)
P-E-R ... Peer.
(hand wide-Ah-to-P-E-R)
Ahhh-P-E-R ... Ap-pear ...
(a beat)
Practice becomes recognizable by-words,- And faster than speech...
(flicks-out P-E-R)
Peer.
(grabs-out Ah-P-E-R)
Ap-pear.
(a beat)
Hebrew, uses glottal-stop-A, Aleph.
HDTV BACKGROUND: CONCURRENT:
[professor]
(a beat)
Look at the word, In:
(easy-curl, tip 2nd: I-N)
Like grasping holding-something-in.
(a beat)
Look at the word, Fear:
(thumb under close-F-E-R)
F-E-R... Looks like a rook castling in fear-- the thumbing sneaking its way across, behind, the fingers....
[Audience giggles...]
[professor]
Likewise, Counting Vier, in German, Thumb behind four fingers, V-E-R,--
(repeat open-V-E-R)
Becomes a fist with a hidden-thumb.
(repeat open-V-E-R)
They're not showing 'fear', They're counting, Vier: The four fingers...
(a beat)
Compare, our word, Finger--
(thumb 1st-4th, F-N-G-R)
F-N-G-R...! Fi-ng-er...!
(a beat)
Compare our word, Fist, F-S-T--
(thumb under-1st-2nd-tip)
In its finality makes a fist...!
(a beat)
Compare German, Zwei, counting Two: Start from the middle, Two fingers.
(thumb 2nd-back-1st curl)
Zwei...!
(half beat)
German, Drei, Three fingers, Start:
(thumb 2nd-back-4th curl)
At the middle, And across, Drei...!
(beat)
Compare, English, Far:
(thumb under 1st, F-Ah-R)
F-Ah-R... Like running-afar-gone... These are modern, words, of course, But you see, what you get...?
(a beat)
Now, Let's run my little video ...
BACKWALL VIDEO, PLAYBACK: Handsigned speech:--
[professor:VID](concur.)
(signing; repunctuated)
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light, Day, and the darkness he called, Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day."
[Audient-3 (oc)]
(interjects)
Oh, God:-- I can see it ....
[professor (oc)]
(interjects)
Exactly as they said in Sumeria ... Oh, God....
[Light laughter...]
[professor]
(after video-finish)
It works, And you know there's some truth to the Sumerian-Egyptian gods teaching man to read and write with handsigns-following...
(smiles that 2 beats)
As well as doing the other, things, with their daughters....
[Laughter...]
[professor]
(as it quiets)
And that much, is our Propositional handsigning.
(half a beat)
The logical extension to Predicate, handsigning, is what happens when--
(hand busy)
You sign all day-- and your fingers get tired:-- You get thumb-tied....
(thumb between 2nd-3rd, pinky-only wiggles)
[Audience giggles...]
[professor]
We, Relax the rules: Let sounds run fluidly together and distinct words form becoming recognizable subunits among them: Communication of ideas, replacing individual phoneme sound-representations .... And that's our 'tonguage'-precedent to lip-reading and palm-reading ... Thank you all!
(nods Done-thankyou)
[Applause...]
[Professor sit-leans on a stool and gestures for questions:]
[Audient-4]
(hand up)
The hand is too small to see at a distance,- to shout.
[professor]
(nods)
Indeed the gods disapproved of loud speech: Apsu complained bitterly of the young gods, and sought to quiet them ... They killed him,- But they in-turn complained of mankind, when they, grew older and drunker:- Enki labeled it, "bull-bellowing"....
[Audient-5]
In your book, you state, Egyptian Osiris, was the same as Anshar in Sumeria;-- Could you clarify...?
professor
Greek Osiris was Egyptian Oongsher: Ahngshar in Sumeria: Languages were originally similar in the family: A distinction was the emphasis in the balance:-- Example, Nasalization of the W, -that is well-known in later Babylonian: Tiamut Tiawath, Damkina Dawkina... Compare plain English:--
(half a beat)
We say, Emphasis not En-phasis, yet nazalization is all we've done -and written with lettered distinction:- The same sound, heard, differently.
(a beat)
The Tower of Babel became notorious for dividing a mankind speaking the same language until none understood any other...
(half a beat)
A common construction-job, problem.
[Audience laughs....]
[professor]
(enunciates as it quiets)
Gilgamesh Izdubar Izhdubar: Ishidwn bar: Shidwn bar: Shdwn-bar: today's Shtan or Shtanley-bar... Gilgamesh!
[Audience chuckles-up....]
(End of excerpt)

Note that for signing-practice purposes, it may help to watch the hand from the side, as vowels are particularly form-discernable.

That, sums-up the Propositional handsignage ... amazingly fast and facile .... Predicate handsignage develops the quick recognition of syllables, words, building the phonetic language. Handsignage is intended as an integral augmentation, not a segregative application.

The vowels
aspectcloseopenshortlongcross
highHahAhhArr
easyHaaAahUhhAwh...
cuptHehEhhƏ...Ehr
curlHaeAe|Ih|...OhhErr
lowHeeEehUihUuuUur
nearKhyYkh...WwwWrr
lockKhuUeeMmmMmw

~ Examples ~
aspectcloseopenshortlongcross
highhahpotwarn
easyhaapatputttaut...
cupthehpetp't...ware
curlhaepate|pit|…tote...
lowheepeteputtootwere
nearkhypew...wwwwrit
lockkhupuremamoi'

(This development, while significant, does not touch on the similarities in vowels and consonants, e.g. "Ye" "Gee", but perpendicularly, Nor on interpolatory and extrapolatory envelope phonemes, e.g. semi-hard 'variant' omega-pi ϖ = ωph as in [P=ϖ]rattu = Euphrates.)

UNDER FURTHER DEVELOPMENT, FOR:

  1. duration-of-touch or front-side-touch or length-of-touch enhancing voiced-unvoiced for consonants
  2. open-close being voiced-unvoiced, vs. unvoiced-voiced, as the original Sumerian was unaspirated not voiced (cf Rhah Rah Ra)

A premise discovery under the title,

Grand-Admiral Petry
'Majestic Service in a Solar System'
Nuclear Emergency Management

© 2006-2010 GrandAdmiralPetry@Lanthus.net

[ShTh, is the archaic name pronounced, Sheth, or Seth.]
* [prominent legal celebrity not associated with the story]
© 2006-2010 Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry DBA Sesquatercet (HI)
Handsignage and versions © 2006 Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry
Global Simulcast Rights 2006-2010 Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry