Does anyone study the sign language of people that can actually speak/pronounce/utter words? What would you call such study and what would you call such subject?

I mean, if a person can use both their mouth and gestures or move their body to communicate than how do you resolve discrepancies and conflicts between body language and words and how does this relate to language and culture and vary from person to person?


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    Do you actually mean sign language (which are full-fledged languages with thousands of conventionalised signs that people with normal speaking and hearing ability usually don't learn) or just body language (which everyone does, to some part unconsciously, and is only done to support spoken words but not a communication means on its own)? Aug 6, 2016 at 13:30
  • The concept that lies in between what you describe, that is, it is the combination of a said word our phase and the gestures that accompany them that convey specific meaning, so they are not to be interpreted on their own on these cases, except if you have a communication deficiency, then the case must be handled differently. Do you share this view / general idea? Aug 6, 2016 at 14:31
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    I know some Pastors that use sign language in their sermons while speaking. Please keep in mind that some deaf people are able to do lip reading at the same time. Sign language is what I call a language of specific gestures used in order to convey a particular meaning. For non-deaf people speaking is also helpful for them to pace themselves in their translations as well as being of interest to those who can not understand sign language who are present.
    – Ken Graham
    Aug 6, 2016 at 15:03
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    @Jack Maddington Does something like you describe actually exist? Not arguing that it definitely doesn't, just can't think of anything that matches your description. Aug 7, 2016 at 15:10
  • Ken Graham and lemontree, excellent comments, wish I could tonite them more than once. :-) Aug 7, 2016 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


Makaton (see Makaton Language Programme on Wikipedia and the Makaton Charity) combines spoken language with gestures, i.e. the signs or symbols do not replace but supplement spoken language. It was not designed for deaf people but for people who cannot communicate effectively using only speech. (You can find short tutorials and examples on YouTube.)

The signs come from or are based on the sign language of the country where Makaton is used, so there is German Makaton, French Makaton, etc.

The Makaton Charity on the UK has a webpage about relevant research.

On a more technical note: while many sign languages used by deaf communities have ISO 639-3 language codes for use in computing, the Makaton sign languages do not yet have such codes. When I contacted the Makaton Charity in the UK about this in 2014, they were not interested in registering such codes.

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