Mímica de las Voces (Spanish Edition)

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The syntactic existence of the indirect object pronoun does not change this; the assistant's words must pass through the narrator on their way to both the interior and exterior audiences. But this in itself raises a number of questions. Moreover, what is the function of the future subjunctive verb tense? After all, while he may not know the exact identity of the reader at hand, having enumerated the various characters now sitting in front of the retablo among them Don Quixote, Sancho, the page, etc.

Having said that, however, what I would like to suggest is that Cervantes deliberately seeks to create a narrative ambiguity here. For, as we have said, this very brief jongleuresque moment occurs at the center point of what is essentially an extended exploration of the multifaceted performative poetics of the early Spanish stage, from simple storytelling to trained animal acts to elaborately mounted plays relatively speaking. The future-subjunctive listener becomes the theoretical audience for a performance constructed by a future-subjunctive reader.

This verbal intrusion into the narrative space -which, for all other intents and purposes, is entirely superfluous here- serves to highlight the underlying performative nature of reading aloud. It can be seen as a kind of backward glance towards the orality that lies at the origins of both literature and theater.

According to Cervantes' narrator, his very narration i. Don Quixote is at its most theatrical when its narrator, like Maese Pedro's young jongleuresque apprentice, moves front and center in order to draw attention to himself as a performative construct. It is at this radically theatrical moment that the essence of theater fully emerges within a new literary genre said to be the very antithesis of drama. Allegri, Luigi. Teatro e spettacolo nel Medioevo. Bari: Laterza , Buenos Aires: Revista de Occidente Argentina , Alter, Jean. A Sociosemiotic Theory of Theatre.

Politics and Violence in Cuban and Argentine Theater

Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P , Cervantes Boccaccio, Giovani. The Decameron. London: Penguin, Brook, Peter. The Empty Space. New York: Atheneum, Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. Don Quixote. John Rutherford. New York: Penguin, El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha. Madrid: Castalia , Teatro completo. Barcelona: Planeta , The Mediaeval Stage. London: Oxford UP , Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales. Neville Coghill. Cohen, Walter. Ithaca: Cornell UP , Davidson, Clifford. Illustrations of the Stage and Acting in England to El romancero viejo. Eisenberg, Daniel. Elvira de Riquer.

Estudios cervantinos. Barcelona: Sirmio , Else, Gerald F. Farness, Jay.

PMLA : Freedman, Barbara. Haley, George. MLN 80 : Ruth El Saffar. Boston: G. Hall, El Quijote de Cervantes. George Haley. Madrid: Taurus, Harris, John Wesley. Medieval Theatre in Context. London: Routledge, Hess, Steven. La juglaresca. Manuel Criado de Val. Madrid: EDI-6, Huot, Sylvia. Huston, Hollis. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P , Lord, Albert B. The Singer of Tales. Mariscal de Rhett, Beatriz. Hispanic Balladry Today. Ruth H. New York: Garland, McLuhan, Marshall. Toronto: U of Toronto P , Ong, Walter. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word.

Poema de mio Cid. Reed, Cory A. Reed, Helen H. Cervantes 7. The Romance of Flamenca. Cervantes 's Exemplary Novels and the Adventure of Writing. Michael Nerlich and Nicholas Spadaccini. Minneapolis: Prisma Institute, Schechner, Richard. Performance Theory. New York: Routledge, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Smith, Colin. Around this same time the Economic Society of Friends of the Country was dissolved—for political reasons, of course—and deaf education entered a period of decadence and chaos.

The year saw the Economic Society reestablished and the Royal School returned to its care, but not before students had instituted a dramatic revolt against the barbaric treatment meted out by men charged with their welfare and. The preprofessional period of deaf education in Spain now drew to a close.

The conclusion considers the changes in the prevailing view of deaf people that occurred during the preprofessional period of their education and compares the pace of their education with that of hearing Spaniards. It also outlines the characteristics of the following era, which brought pedagogical and administrative renewal, the expansion and professionalization of the teaching—and the deliberate and systematic exclusion of deaf people from academic teaching positions.

Three decades later, however, when deaf education became the province of professional educators, deaf instructors were banned from the classroom—a decision from which deaf education in Spain has yet to recover. The exclusion of deaf people from academic teaching positions continued throughout the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth, and even today, in all of Spain there exists but a handful of deaf teachers of deaf children see note 1 of the epilogue. The epilogue examines the situation of deaf people in Spain today. Spanish deaf history has received scant attention to date, however, and this book, which makes use of new interpretations and previously unpublished sources, is the first to examine the topic from the perspective offered here.

Although I do not presume to speak for deaf Spaniards, I hope that this work will contribute to the recovery and reevaluation of their history and, in so doing, provide them with cultural heroes and positive role models, along with the sense of empowerment that comes from a knowledge of one's past.

With luck perhaps this book will stimulate further study of deaf people's history, their language, and their community, and ultimately advance their struggle for acceptance as a linguistic minority, for official recognition of Spanish Sign Language, and for self-determination. On doors, windows, and stairs, and arches and tables and all things put their names in writing, so that they may know their names and, lastly, all for the good, indicate them to them by signs.

The most correct procedure for deaf-mutes is to begin with writing. The achievement directly challenged the conventional wisdom of the day, which held that deaf people were ineducable, could not learn to speak, and could not achieve salvation. His pupils' successes contributed to a gradual shift in consciousness regarding deaf people and their place in society.

Over time, many of Spain's most important families had come to be related through marriage, resulting in a high incidence of hereditary deafness among the nobility, for as many as ten percent of children born of consanguineous marriages are likely to be deaf. In late or early Juliana de Velasco, who was probably the eldest of the four deaf siblings, entered the convent of Santa Clara de Medina de Pomar.

Francisco would have been about eleven years old at the time, and his brother Pedro about seven.

Meaning of "amimia" in the Spanish dictionary

The new arrivals passed through parapeted walls guarded by massive towers and emblazoned with the wolf and tree of the Velasco coat of arms—mute testimony to the family's munificent patronage. Cradled in the mountains of Burgos in northern Spain, the boys' new home resembled a medieval fortress. Its abbots were men of extraordinary power and influence who attended the royal councils; its monks were renowned for their brilliance and their virtue. Royalty and nobility regaled the monastery with gifts and special privileges, and many sought burial there.

During the sixteenth century, as Spain was on its way to becoming the richest and mightiest nation on earth, San Salvador was at the height of its power and prestige, and what was about to transpire there would ultimately lead to a change in consciousness regarding deaf people, their education, and their place in society. Fray Pedro took a liking to his young charges and, moved by their deafness, he undertook to teach them. Beyond this, he seems to have received no higher education, although he was, in the words of a contemporary, "much inclined to the profession of herbalist and other natural secrets.

The facts surrounding Pedro Ponce's birth are shrouded in silence, and there is no known record of his parentage, but circumstantial evidence suggests he may well have been illegitimate. In Francisco and Pedro de Velasco's era it was generally believed that deaf people were inherently ineducable, and that they could not learn to speak. Physicians attributed a common origin in the brain to both speech and hearing, the commune sensorium, believing that a lesion to this region would result in both deafness and muteness. The crucial link between speech and hearing had yet to be recognized.

Philosophers throughout the classical and medieval periods and up through the Velasco brothers' day did not clearly distinguish between language and speech. Language is a mental representation and speech is but one of its possible manifestations, but speech, rather than language, was viewed as the mark of our species, the crucial attribute that distinguished humans from beasts. The Spanish word for "language" is lengua, which also means "tongue," clearly suggesting the conceptual link between language and speech; the same is true in other Romance languages as well.

Speech was believed to be not an acquired skill but. Indeed, even to attempt such instruction would be folly. If speech was the identifying characteristic of humans—at least, hearing humans—the identifying characteristic of deaf humans was apparently taken to be not their lack of hearing, but their inability to speak.

To this day, both Spanish Sign Language and American Sign Language make the sign for "hearing" as in "a hearing person" not at the ear but at the lips, and in American Sign Language this same sign can also mean "speech," thus designating hearing people not by their auditory capacity but by their ability to talk. And until the end of the eighteenth century, the usage in many languages was to refer to deaf people who could not speak as "mutes. The negative implications for deaf people who could not talk were obvious. He held that deaf people, like animals, could make vocal sounds but could not articulate.

Speech flowed from the soul, animals had no soul, and speech was absent in both animals and deaf people.

Mimes in Spanish | English to Spanish Translation - SpanishDict

Again, the negative implications for deaf persons who were also mute were clear. For Aristotle, hearing was the sense most crucial to knowledge and learning. Yet he understood that the role of hearing in education was not essential but rather, accidental, because hearing conveyed sound, which he took to be the vehicle of thought. Although Aristotle never wrote that deaf people could not be taught, in time his remarks came to be so construed, and the belief that deaf individuals were ineducable, wrongly attributed to him, was widely accepted.

The views of the Church held out no hope for deaf people either. The apostle Paul had written that "faith cometh by hearing," and according to Saint Augustine, deafness "hinders faith itself. In a society that believed them to be beyond the pale, outside the realm of both learning and salvation, deaf people—or more accurately, deaf people who could not speak—fared no better in the eyes of the law. The law had long distinguished between deaf-mutes and those who were merely deaf ex accidente, that is, deaf people who could talk, and only the latter were recognized as persons at law.

Deaf-mutes, in contrast, were routinely classified with minors, the mentally defective, and the insane. In the thirteenth century the Spanish king Alfonso X had denied them the right to bear witness, to make a will, or to inherit a feudal estate, but he had allowed that they could assent to marriage by way of signs, observing that "signs that demonstrate consent among the mute do as much as words among those who speak. If deaf people in Francisco and Pedro de Velasco's time were generally considered incapable of receiving instruction, this view was occasionally challenged by empirical observation.

Thus, the Renaissance humanist Rudolph Agricola recounted having seen a person "deaf from the cradle, and by consequence mute," who could express his thoughts and understand those of others by way of writing. Citing Aristotle's remark that hearing was the "learning sense" and interpreting it to mean that without hearing, learning could not take place, he remarked, "For this reason I am more than surprised that there has been a person born deaf and mute who learned to read and write.

The hand by itself can even replace words; that can be observed in mute persons. Like others of his time, Vives believed that speech and reason were inextricably linked. While Agricola's account led Vives to defer uncritically to the doctrine of Aristotle—or at least, what Vives took to be the doctrine of Aristotle—it stimulated another Renaissance thinker, the Italian Girolamo Cardano, to reflect on the possibilities of educating a deaf person.

The memory would come to understand that bread, for instance, refers to that which is eaten, and the written word would be directly associated with the concept. Also implicit in these speculations was the distinction between language and speech: deaf people, this author hypothesized, could acquire language by way of writing, without the intervention of speech. What influence, if any, did these thinkers exert on Pedro Ponce, the man who would instruct Francisco and Pedro Velasco?


The monk was no doubt familiar with the works of Aristotle, Paul the apostle, and Saint Augustine. But what about Agricola and Cardano? It is clear that Cardano's writings could not have inspired Fray Pedro's teaching, since they were still unpublished decades after he had successfully instructed Francisco and Pedro de Velasco.

Another possible inducement for Ponce to try his hand at deaf education was the example of educated deaf people of his day, who by their achievements proved that they could be taught. Upon returning to his homeland, he came to the attention of the Spanish king, in whose employ he. Yet no one would have suggested that the artist was lacking in reason—especially not at the Spanish court, where he was well known for his intelligence, and for his skill at the gaming table, and the precision with which he kept score of wins and losses.

The artist then went on to enumerate his other accomplishments, stating that he "understands what he sees, and makes himself understood easily to those of his acquaintance by way of signs and gestures as appropriate and exact as others do by speaking, and he knows how to write and sign his name and how to reckon, and in the art of painting he is an extraordinary and perfect craftsman and he has knowledge of the Scriptures and of history and paints precisely according to them, and he confesses and takes communion and performs the other acts of a faithful Christian with real understanding, he keeps to himself and is thrifty with his estate, so that what he lacks in speech he more than makes up for in intelligence.

Yet even without knowledge of educated deaf people such as El Mudo, even without Agricola's account of the deaf and mute man who could read and write and without Cardano's reflections on the subject, Spain's intellectual climate was such that Ponce might well have surmised on his own that deaf people could be educated, for his was an age characterized by a new interest in pedagogy and in the education of society's marginal classes. In Alejo de Vanegas wrote on teaching blind people to read, and the following year Luis Vives, who seemingly dismissed the possibility of teaching a deaf person, advocated the education of poor children, blind people, and even the mentally retarded.

But perhaps most important, Ponce had evidence quite close at hand, within the monastery itself, that must have shown him that the absence of speech need not go hand in hand with a lack of reason, and that consequently, deaf people might indeed be educable. Centuries earlier, however, the monks had already discovered that they could communicate without violating obligatory silence by using manual signs, and by Ponce's day the Benedictines had at their disposal "signs for all the most important things, [with which] they made themselves understood," according to one chronicler of the order.

There were signs for the most significant elements of religious life, such as God, the Virgin Mary, Saint Benedict, book, water, wine, and mass. Pedro Ponce must have understood, then, that it was possible to express reason without speech, for he himself did so each time he conveyed his thoughts by way of monastic signs.

Deaf children raised in an oral environment are known to invent their own sign system, called home sign. Beginning as simple gestures to describe people, objects, and actions, home signs eventually become more stylized and arbitrary, and various signs may be strung together to produce simple sentences. With time, these elementary gestural systems may develop the rudiments of syntax and morphology. Young Francisco and Pedro de Velasco must have had a well developed system of home sign—after all, they came from a family with four deaf children—and their signed communication would have served to confirm what Fray Pedro already knew: the absence of speech need not imply a lack of reason.

Although both the monk and his charges communicated with signs, there were, nevertheless, important differences between Fray Pedro's monastic sign and the deaf Velascos' home sign. Monastic sign is merely a manual lexicon without a grammar, a collection of signs used with the native language as a point of reference; thus, it is not really a language at all.

The grammar of home sign, in contrast, is not based on any oral language. Instead, it emerges from the language capacity of the individuals themselves. Monastic orders deliberately limit their lexicon to a list of officially approved signs—the goal here is to keep communication to a minimum—but deaf children 'in a non-signing environment encounter no such artificial restrictions, and giving free reign to their linguistic creativity, they may invent many, many signs.

In so doing, the monk disproved the commonly-held belief that. Given the intellectual climate of the times, bearing in mind that the Velasco children, like the monks, communicated manually, and remembering that one of Ponce's first duties was to teach these youngsters the signs of his order, the feasibility of their instruction would have been difficult to ignore. It must have been clear to Ponce that speech was not the only possible conveyor of reason. Reason could also be conveyed on the hands. Under these same favorable circumstances, it is easy to surmise that another silent monk in another silent monastery could have also taught a deaf child.

If Navarrete was indeed taught by Vicente de Santo Domingo, the monk at La Estrella had already instructed a deaf person before Pedro Ponce began his teaching. And why would Ponce teach speech to his disciples? No doubt one factor was the law, and in particular, the constraints it could impose on deaf people's right to succeed. As we have seen, deaf-mutes, unlike those who were merely deaf, were not considered persons at law; hence, they might be excluded from the line of succession. This question worried Francisco and Pedro's father, Juan de Velasco y Tovar, for he was anxious to avoid the dismemberment of his entailed estates.

The Tovar and Berlanga estates excluded only females, but the more recently established ones of Osma and Gandul y Marchinilla also excluded descendants affected by certain physical and psychic conditions, among them, deaf-mutism. In Juan de Velasco petitioned the Holy Roman.

Emperor to make the conditions for succession of all his dominions conform to those of the Tovar and Berlanga estates. His request was granted that same year, thus ensuring that any of his sons, deaf or hearing, could legally inherit the title of the house of Tovar and all the estates annexed to it.

So Juan de Velasco had secured his deaf sons' right to succeed at least in theory some years before Pedro Ponce ever began to teach them. What other barriers would fall if Francisco and Pedro de Velasco could speak? In addition to being excluded from succeeding to certain entailed estates, they were also subject to numerous other legal restrictions that, under civil law, applied to persons both deaf and mute.

We have already seen that they could not bear witness, for instance, or leave a will. Moreover, canon law barred them from the priesthood, on the grounds that they could not pronounce the words of the Eucharist necessary for the transubstantiation, the conversion of the host and the sacramental wine into the body and blood of Christ. In short, deaf-mutes were routinely denied rights and privileges accorded deaf people who could talk. But it should follow, then, that mutes taught to speak would attain those rights denied them under civil law on account of their muteness.

It should also follow that they could be admitted to the priesthood if they could utter the words needed for the consecration of the Eucharist. He was not disappointed by what he saw. That men. For the feat of teaching deaf people to speak, the lawyer from Madrid exalted Pedro Ponce over Archimedes, Plato, Seneca, and "all the other philosophers and even jurists that there have been in the world" Moreover, although Lasso repeatedly used the term "miraculous," he made clear that the monk had achieved it all through "industry, judgment, and curiosity" The manuscript, dated October 8, , was not to see publication until more than three and a half centuries later, however.

He accepted, for instance, the notion that deafness and muteness were inextricably linked, explicitly rejecting the idea that deaf individuals were mute merely because they could not hear, and maintaining instead that deafness alone was not sufficient to cause muteness. If those who were deaf were also mute, the author stated, it was because the same illness that caused the deafness also rendered useless the organs needed for speech.

As Lasso put it, "at the same time that with illness the sense of hearing is blocked, the delicate parts employed in speech come to be blocked and closed" In his view of speech as opposed to language as the mark of our species, Lasso likewise repeated the conventional wisdom of the day: "Birds and. But Lasso broke new ground when he discounted some commonly held beliefs of his era. His central thesis, to which he returned again and again, was that mutes excluded from succeeding to entailed estates should not be so excluded if they learned to talk.

He argued that mutes taught to speak should also be able to leave a will, to be ordained—in short, to enjoy those legal rights and privileges commonly denied them on account of their muteness. The jurist's logic was irrefutable: the mute who had learned to speak was no longer mute, and consequently legal restrictions imposed because of muteness should no longer apply. Lasso went on to reject the legal distinction between deaf persons who were mutes those mute "by nature" and deaf people who could speak those deafened "ex accidente," by illness.

Muteness, he maintained, was due to illness, and it followed then that "there is no mute even though he be mute from birth who is not so ex accidente, because of some illness" If so, the mute who learned to speak should have the same legal rights as the person deafened ex accidente. Finally, in considering the ancient injunction to shun "those whom nature has marked," Lasso argued that it did not apply to deaf-mutes, because they were not marked by nature but rather by illness.

Muteness was but a sign, then, of "lack of disposition of the material nature had to work with" Lasso's view of deaf people as "ill" was no doubt an advance of sorts over the more sinister claim that they were marked by nature. Deafness and muteness thus construed constituted a physical defect, rather than a moral one. His vision of deaf people as impaired persists to this day in the infirmity model of deafness. Lasso stated that professional curiosity alone was "the motive and final cause of my study" 29 , and he insisted that he had written his treatise "with no [personal] interest whatsoever" But there is reason to question this disclaimer.

A Silent Minority

In his dedication to Francisco de Velasco, the author expressed a wish "to be able to do more and to be more worthy in order to occupy myself in more that may arise in the service of Your Grace" 7 , and elsewhere he pointed to "the debt I have to the service of Your Grace" This suggests a commissioned work, and the writer's desire to curry favor with the influential Velascos should not be overlooked. The lawyer's arguments concerning the rights of talking deaf-mutes to inherit an entailed estate were never put to the test; despite the steps taken by Juan de Velasco to secure his deaf sons' right of succession,.

Thus arose the situation that Juan de Velasco had foreseen, in which one of his deaf sons could inherit the dominions of Tovar and the town of Berlanga.

Francisco, the elder deaf son, had died at an early age, probably well before the death of his uncle the constable. Hence Juan de Velasco's sons were no longer first in the line of succession to their father's estates, and Lasso's arguments concerning their right to succeed were rendered moot. The jurist's claim that mutes taught to speak should not be barred from the priesthood was vindicated, for Pedro de Velasco was ordained with papal dispensation and became, quite possibly, Spain's first deaf priest.

By Lasso's own account, Francisco and Pedro de Velasco possessed many accomplishments, but clearly the one that most impressed him, and the only one that mattered in the campaign to redeem mutes in the eyes of the law, was speech. In fact, no mention of it appears in his manuscript. And while he argued that through speech, mutes could obtain their legal rights, a position that was ahead of its time, apparently it did not occur to him that these same rights might also be extended to deaf people who could not speak but could express themselves either in sign language or by writing.

Because it was speech, not signs or writing, that was taken to indicate the presence of reason, in Lasso's view speech was what was needed for deaf people to attain full legal rights and privileges—indeed, to attain their full measure of humanity. Interestingly enough, however, this author maintained that in order to testify, the ability to speak should not be required. Instead, it should suffice for neighbors or relatives familiar with the mute's signs to interpret for him, and testimony so rendered should be.

Implicit here was the recognition that deaf-mutes were both rational and intelligent. Lasso may have been the first to formulate the oralist claim that speech could "restore deaf people to society. Deaf people, instead of being accepted on their own terms, are "pathologized," stigmatized, and defined as handicapped; in Lasso's terms, they are "ill. The issue of the role of speech for deaf people, raised for the first time in Lasso's treatise, continues to be central to questions concerning their education and, ultimately, their place in society.

Synonyms and antonyms of amimia in the Spanish dictionary of synonyms

It is important to realize, however, that Ponce's teaching was not limited to speech alone. Documents of the era reserved special praise for Pedro de Velasco, who was Ponce's most accomplished student and, in the words of one chronicler, "a perfect man and very capable in all subjects. And although his pronunciation was somewhat irritating, he more than made up for it with the subtlety of his arguments.

Pedro de Velasco was undoubtedly devoted to his teacher, and when the monk's most gifted pupil died in —"in the flower of his youth" [70] —he bequeathed to Fray Pedro, whom he referred to as "my teacher and my father," three wooden chests and his bed with its mat-. He emphasized that Ponce was to have his silver saltshaker and sugar bowl "for himself," and he left the monk all his books except those in Italian, which he bequeathed to his valet, Francisco Frenado. Over the years Ponce taught some ten or twelve deaf students in all, among them a deaf sister of Francisco and Pedro de Velasco, Gaspar de Gurrea, son of the governor of Aragon, and the noble Gaspar de Burgos.

I have had disciples who were deaf and mute from birth, sons of great nobles and men of distinction, whom I taught to speak, and read, and write, and reckon, to pray, to assist at mass and to know Christian doctrine and to confess by speech, and to some I taught Latin, and to others Latin and Greek, and to understand the Italian language, and one came to be ordained and to hold an office and benefice of the Church, and to pray the Canonical Hours; also this one and some others came to know and understand natural philosophy and astrology; and another was heir to an estate and marquisate, and was to follow the career of arms, in addition to all that he knew, as has been said, he was instructed in the use of all kinds of arms, and was a very skillful equestrian.

Besides all this they were great historians of Spanish and foreign history; and above all, they made use of the Doctrine, Policy and Discipline of which Aristotle had deprived them. A small group of students from cultured, privileged families were taught by a devoted "guardian angel" in a community in which speech was at times already proscribed and signed communication had long been established.

Just how did Ponce go about instructing his pupils? According to one observer, he began by teaching them to write, pointing to the objects designated by the written words, then proceeded to teach pronunciation. I would have Your Grace know that when I was a child who knew nothing, like a stone, I began to write first the things my teacher taught me, and then to write all the Spanish words in my notebook, which for this purpose had been made. Next with the help of God I began to join the sounds together, and next to pronounce with all the strength I could, although there came from me an abundance of saliva.

I began then to read histories, and. According to several of his contemporaries, Pedro Ponce himself wrote an account of how he taught his students. The first known reference to Ponce's manuscript appeared in the Licenciado Lasso's treatise. Writing in the year , Lasso stated that he would not comment on the monk's method because the inventor "has it recorded, stored away, and reserved for himself" 10— This writer urged that Ponce publish his work and make it known to all because of the great benefit to be derived from it, but apparently our Benedictine had no intention of following this suggestion, for Lasso added that Pope Julius III and the emperor Charles V should order him to do so.

Ponce's work was never published, however, and there remains todaybut a single page, which, to judge from the handwriting and its contents, may have formed part of his manuscript.

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By writing words and pointing to the appropriate letters on the fingers, the student learned the names of objects, beginning with common foods with short names, for instance, pan bread , miel honey , and so on. In this way, according to the author, "the senses and the faculty of mind are exercised, for up until now he has them and has had them like a brute because they have been so closed off and shriveled up, due to having no door nor way to make use of them.

The outward signs of the Christian religion were introduced early on, and as soon as the student knew the alphabet by heart, he learned the words, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit," and to cross himself. Vocabulary was taught by labeling objects with their names in writing and conveying their meaning with signs: "Show him words,". In their hands, Spanish Sign Language no doubt flourished.

Given these circumstances—a community of deaf people that remains together over time—the rude home sign created by deaf children raised in an otherwise oral environment would eventually become a real language, on a par in complexity and sophistication with any spoken language. The deaf residents were apparently well integrated into monastic life—no doubt because manual signs provided a mode of communication equally accessible to deaf and hearing brethren alike. The deaf pupils' life among the monks was neither austere nor reclusive.

Considerable amounts of money—all that the children's families paid Ponce for educating them and more—was lavished on their food, servants, and guests who regularly came to call. Among the royal retinue on this latter occa-. If Ponce's pupils led rather worldly lives, so too did their teacher. Far from remaining in the silence of the cloister, where time hung heavy on his hands and there was nothing better to do than ponder the instruction of his charges, the record suggests that Spain's most celebrated educator of deaf children was a busy, worldly man, engaged in a whirlwind of activities that competed for his attention.

From to he served as teniente mayordomo, an administrative position concerned with rent payments, tithes, first fruits, and contributions to the Church. And in an era in which monasteries were frequently embroiled in litigation, more than once he served as procurator, a post that would have required him to leave the cloister to defend monastery interests in the court of law.

Our celebrated Benedictine also devoted himself wholeheartedly to another worldly activity, that of money lender. To judge from the number of loans recorded in Ponce's name, "one might think Secured by debtors' property at an annual interest charge of 7. Treatises of the day, asserting that redeemable rent charges would lead to the ruin of agriculture, condemned them on economic grounds—and on moral grounds as well, for they were viewed as a form of usury.

No doubt Ponce was kept busy by his various activities, so busy that he often failed to attend memorial services and masses. On his deathbed in August he lamented, "because I was busy Ponce was entombed within the church, in front of the pulpit where the transept crosses the nave, an honor that had never before been bestowed on one who was not an abbot. Inevitably, Ponce's fame grew. The news would have been carried abroad as well, for Poncc's fellow monks maintained contact with their brethren throughout Europe.

Publication of various eyewitness accounts likewise documented what the industrious Benedictine had wrought. And what was more, from wri-. The physician's testimony was not to be doubted, for he had firsthand knowledge of his subject: "To all this I am witness in my friend's disciples," he concluded.

In rejecting the "commonsense" views of his day, Ponce had refuted beliefs that had gone unquestioned for centuries. He had shown that deaf people could be taught and that they could receive the Sacraments. He was committed to articulation as part of their education, quite likely because of the legal restrictions imposed on deaf people who could not talk, and specifically because of the prohibition against succeeding to an entailed estate, which could have affected some of his aristocratic pupils.

Although a deaf community of sorts must have existed at Ofia during these years, there is no reason to believe the monk ever viewed deaf people in general, or his deaf pupils in particular, as such. Deaf residents seem to have been integrated into monastic life to a considerable extent, and the hearing brethren also signed. Ponce's instruction was limited to the privileged few [97] —several centuries would pass before deaf education would be extended beyond the aristocracy—yet his work contributed to a shift in consciousness regarding deaf people. For his achievements, Pedro Ponce was, according to his funeral eulogy, "renowned in all the world.

But as this same monk went on to observe, "He never tried to teach [his method] to another; and we all know how much more it is to form teachers in a profession than to be one. In any home where there are mutes Sire, Your Highness will forgive me, but I cannot tell you, because I gave the teacher my word that I would keep his secret.

He did not need to speak in order to govern his estates, [for] the majesty of his judgment and talent put everything in order. Llamas y Aguilar. Pedro Ponce lived and taught in a silent, signing monastery but trained no successor, and after his death the teaching of deaf people in Spain seems to have been interrupted for a time. At this point the teaching was no longer solely in the hands of members of religious orders, and the students, while still from aristocratic families, could now be found living outside the monastery.

Yet each tutor continued to have only a small number of students to whom he devoted an extraordinary amount of time and effort. The results thus obtained were excellent—it could hardly be otherwise, given these conditions. But when the teaching moved beyond the monastery walls, the methodology changed considerably.

Deaf students came to be instructed by methods originally devised for the hearing, and. Educated deaf aristocrats entered the public arena, rising to positions of great visibility and importance at home and abroad; by their example, which could hardly have passed unnoticed, they contributed to the growing awareness that deaf people could be educated, and assume their rightful place in society. He was deaf from birth. Deafness was no stranger to Don Alonso's family, for in keeping with the practice of the Spanish aristocracy, the family had often opted for consanguineous marriages.

All these deaf relatives had been sent to the convent, but in a break with this tradition, the deaf marquis would be educated at his home in Montilla, in Seville. The young nobleman was eighteen years old. The marquis of Priego was at first reluctant to allow his teacher to depart. His instruction was incomplete; moreover, the young nobleman was no doubt somewhat dependent on his tutor to administer his estates. The tutor, it will be remembered, had in all probability been a schoolteacher before turning to deaf education, and from what can be pieced together, the pedagogy he employed with deaf children was much like that he had used with the hearing.

One technique consisted of teaching reading by reducing the name of each letter to the sound associated with it. The letter s, for instance, which in Spanish is called. The tutor would boast some years later that with his method, in but a short time, "a child can learn to read aloud without faltering In Madrid, when he was six years old, I taught the constable of Castile, who is alive today, to read in thirteen days, with such success that he needed no additional teaching other than practice in order to read fluently.

His Excellency Our Lord the King attested to it when His Majesty wished to hear the marquis of Fresno [young Luis Velasco] read and speak in my presence, such inventiveness being accredited and the inventor honored in the presence of such a great monarch. By Juan Bautista had prepared for publication a book that included his brother's materials; [16] his Pronunciaciones generales de lenguas appeared five years later.

In reality, however, the idea was not new, for already more than one hundred years earlier the Spanish grammarian Antonio Nebrija had advocated designating the letters by their sounds, and by the early seventeenth century this approach was fairly widespread. Once again the evidence is provided by Juan Bautista's book, which. Spelling on the fingers, like the technique of using sound-letter correspondences to teach reading, was hardly an innovation, for the hand alphabet described by Bautista was essentially the same one published in in Fray Melchor Yebra's Refugium infirmorum.

Yebra may have been the first to publish the manual alphabet in Spain, but he was not its inventor, for systems using the hands and parts of the body to represent numbers and letters have been attested as far back as. Greek and Roman antiquity. Yebra added that some of these individuals, "compelled by necessity," had already mastered the hand alphabet "in order to deal with and communicate with people. But we have no direct knowledge of how he went about instructing deaf students, for he left no written record of his methods. Instead, there has come down to us only an account of his penchant for secrecy.

The first day I was to begin the lessons of the marquis of Fresno [Luis de Velasco], since he was so young he was not yet eight years old, he refused to go in alone with me for the lesson, and asked that his brother the constable attend. That was what was done, and before beginning I asked the constable to give me his word as a gentleman that he would reveal to no one the secret of that teaching. His Excellency promised me, and he kept his word so well, that one day when His Highness asked him whether his brother could speak yet, he answered affirmatively.

And when asked who was teaching him, he gave the teacher's name. And when asked if he had seen him give a lesson, he again said yes. And when he came to ask him how he taught him, he replied with great integrity, "Sire, Your Highness will forgive me, but I cannot tell you, because I gave the teacher my word that I would keep his secret. When the tutor was summoned from Montilla, the Aragonese Juan Pablo Bonet, secretary to young Constable Bernardino, was residing in the Velasco household. Bonet was also a man of letters, a scholar of classical languages, as well as French and Italian, and an author of mediocre verse.

After the constable's death in , Bonet had stayed on in the service of his son and successor, Bernardino, who was but four years old at the time. Young Luis's education was incomplete, and the duchess once again searched for a teacher for her son. Various individuals attempted to continue his training, among them Juan Pablo Bonet. Bonet would later recount that he had been moved to his efforts as much by love and obligation to the house of the constable as by the duchess's enormous and heartfelt endeavors on her son's behalf.

Thus, it is not surprising that Luis's new tutor met with no success. This failure deterred the loyal employee neither from composing a book on the subject—the first published work of its kind—nor from professing to have been Luis's teacher, nor from intimating that he was the inventor of the art of teaching deaf people, claiming to have found at last a "secret path by which to enter and a smooth road by which to depart. Moreover, he noted that "we know of not one [mute] who has spoken Here the author appeared to acknowledge the existence of other mutes who had been taught to talk—small wonder, considering that when he composed his book, he was living in the home of the constables of Castile, whose ancestors had been taught by Pedro Ponce two generations earlier.

In the first part of the book, Reduction de las letras, Bonet wrote that children learning to read should not be taught the names of the letters, but instead, the sounds associated with them. In addition to the discussion about teaching reading, the Reduction de las letras also contained a good many curious and farfetched observations about the nature of the letters. For instance, the author argued that the form of each letter was itself suggestive of its pronunciation. Thus the letter A, he maintained, when laid on its side, suggested the wide open position of the mouth, and the line that crosses it indicated that the mouth was to remain open during its articulation; the letter B, with its two semi-circles joined in the center, suggested the closed position assumed by the lips to produce it; and so on.

A second cause of muteness, he wrote, was a defect of the tongue, so that an individual might be mute but not deaf. A person with both defects would be deaf as well as mute. Only those in whom muteness was due to deafness alone could be helped by the precepts of Bonet's Arte. The work contained a method for instructing deaf students, along with an essay on how to formulate an indecipherable code and decipher coded messages, and a treatise on Greek.

Also included was an explanation of how to apply the principles of the Arte to teach mutes of other nations, since muteness was, in this writer's words, "a common illness" But if Bonet's account of the underlying cause of muteness was correct, his view of muteness itself could hardly have been more negative, for he contended that it impeded "the manifestation of the rational soul"—the belief that speech came from the soul and was the sole purveyor of reason was still with us—and he held that as a consequence, mutes "lose their standing as men before others, being left so unfit for communication that it seems they serve as no more than piteous monsters of nature, which imitate our form" It is doubtful that Pedro Ponce, living in a monastery where speech was proscribed and sign language was used regularly to communicate, would have shared such uninformed views about muteness.

The author of the Arte rejected the harsh and futile methods deaf people were subjected to in his day, procedures such as "taking the mutes to the countryside, and in valleys where the voice has greater sonority, to make them give loud shouts, and with such violence that they came to bleed from the mouth, putting them also in buckets where the voice reverberated loudly, and they could hear it amplified.

He reasoned that knowledge of articulation could be acquired visually, and in that way the deaf person might be taught to speak, albeit without hearing. The deaf pupil would produce the right sound when shown how to correctly position his articulators, just as strumming a guitar would produce the desired chord when the student's fingers were properly positioned on the strings. The optimal time to teach the deaf child to talk, Bonet believed, was when the pupil was between the ages of six and eight.

Thanks to Bonet's book, this alphabet would eventually spread throughout continental Europe and the Americas, where its use among deaf people continues to this day. At the same time the student learned to form the letters on his fingers, he also learned to write them. The next step was articulation. At this point the pupil was to be alone with his instructor, according to the author, because "the task requires very great attention, and that he not be distracted" The two should be in a well-lit place, so the learner could readily observe the tutor's mouth.

The teacher was counseled to be very patient, and to allow the pupil many tries. If the student became distressed because he. Bonet likened the teaching of pronunciation to the task of tuning two instruments to the same pitch when neither tuner could hear the other's instrument. The Arte recognized that many aspects of articulation occur inside the mouth and consequently are not visible to the student.

Nevertheless, the author advised, "it would not be prudent to oblige all who address the mute to do so with the mouth open"; were hearing people to pronounce in such an exaggerated fashion, it would lead the mute to make faces when he spoke, and such grimaces would be "ugly" in deaf and hearing alike To teach articulation, "for ease and so as not to go around putting one's fingers in the mute's mouth positioning his tongue," Bonet advocated use of a leather tongue to demonstrate the shapes it assumed and to supplement what could be seen of the tutor's mouth — And to illustrate the multiple vibrations of the Spanish rr, he recommended a paper tongue, to be set in motion by blowing across it.

Bonet's approach was highly methodical, with the complexity of the material increasing gradually. After the student learned to pronounce individual sounds—first the vowels, then the consonants—he progressed to syllables, then simple words referring to concrete objects present in the room. Next he learned to read aloud from a printed text; comprehension was not deemed important at this point but would come later.

The tenses were reduced to three: past, present, and future, with the finer points of meaning to be acquired through usage. The parts of speech were also reduced to three: noun, verb, and conjunction. Concrete nouns were taught by directly associating the word with the referent; abstract nouns were taught by "demonstrative actions," which Bonet declined to describe, "leaving this to the teachers' good judgment and discretion," but suggesting that the gestures they devised should evoke what they wished to depict Action verbs e.

The "passions of the soul," however—love, hate, jealousy, contrition, anger, cruelty, and so on—were not to be taught by demonstration; instead, the teacher was to wait until the pupil found himself in the throes of one of these emotions, then supply its name. These passions might be provoked in the learner for pedagogical purposes, but in so doing, Bonet cautioned, care should be taken not to lead him to sin.

The student should be asked each evening what he had done during the day, and if he could not reply, the tutor should supply him with the appropriate response. Once the fundamentals of language had been mastered, the written word would form the basis for further acquisition. At this point the pupil should be given books to read, beginning with the most simple, and he should be obliged to pen answers to questions about them posed in writing, and thus engage in "lengthy conversations" — As for lipreading, Bonet was convinced that it could not be taught.

He argued that since the teacher himself did not possess this ability, and since he could not teach what he did not know, he could not possibly impart this skill to the pupil. Nevertheless, the author acknowledged that "many mutes" could read from the lips without instruction. He considered such individuals "exceptions" and credited their skill to their own "great attention," rather than to the genius of the teacher.

Although Bonet's pedagogy allowed for pantomime and gestures, which he called "demonstrative actions," he took a dim view of the use of signs. One such sign was used, however, to instruct the pupil to join sounds to form syllables, or to join syllables to form words. One hand described a circle in the air, or as an alternative, the two hands were clasped tightly together — Arbitrary signs were also used to explain verb tenses. For "past" the hand moved back over the shoulder, and for "future" the hand arched forward in front of the body. Another arbitrary sign conveyed the concept "many": the teacher brought all five fingers together and wiggled them.

The description is rather imprecise, but the gesture seems similar, if not iden-. At this point Bonet made his only reference to the signs in use among deaf Spaniards at that time, commenting that this gesture, which was apparently unfamiliar to hearing people, "in the mutes signifies 'many'" This last remark is intriguing, for it seems to imply that there were common, agreed upon signs among an identifiable group of deaf people, suggesting their regular interaction in a confined geographical area, and possibly the existence of a deaf community and an established sign language.

Such a group could no doubt have included the deaf members of the Velasco family, their deaf relatives, and most likely some hearing members of their households as well. The signs could well have been in use for generations, formed on the hands of Ponce's pupils Francisco and Pedro de Velasco, their deaf sisters Juliana and Bernardina, their grandnephew Luis de Velasco, and their deaf relatives at Montilla—the marquis of Priego, his aunt, and his sister.