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Myself, I have been able to I suspect to understand people
speaking Russian, I do have some minor exposure to it, but just
going on

Gestures
Body Position
Tone of Voice
and I suspect more (humans do smell pheromones, we just ignore
them or do not realize it, or worse we deny they exist as well,
pheromones/hormones and other smells).

And get an idea of what the conversation is about, based on
sometimes words I think I know..

Mike

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lars Finsen" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2008 6:06 AM
Subject: Re: sign language


Den 1. mai. 2008 kl. 15.15 skreiv Campbell Nilsen:
> Call me a bit odd, but it seems to me that sign language might
be a
> good candidate for Proto-World. If you come up with a
language,
> your friends are going to have an easier time learning
stylized
> gestures than arbitrary combinations of phonemes.

You're not odd. This has been proposed before. Before we started
using signals that needed learning instead of intuitive signals
that
are understandable to everybody - and the first steps in this
direction were probably taken millions of years ago - our
communication was a mixture of different signals, but mainly
calls,
facial expressions and gestures. Inventing new gestures in
addition
to the intuitive ones isn't a bigger leap than inventing new
calls in
addition to the intuitive ones, I think, and possibly smaller.
When
we started walking on our hind legs, our hands were free to use
for
many things, like tools etc., and why not gestures?

LEF