Definition of fingerspelling in English:
A form of sign language in which individual letters are formed by the fingers to spell out words.
- ‘Helen may have remembered her awakening to language as a sudden revelation at the garden pump, but Annie Sullivan's diary tells that it took many weeks of fingerspelling on Helen's hands before connections started to be made in her mind’.
- Most researchers have identified British reliance on fingerspelling (rather than a form of signed language as developed in France by Roch-Ambroise-Auguste Bebian) as at least a precursor to oralism.
- Hirsh-Pasek found that deaf children use fingerspelling in the same way hearing children use phonemes, that is, by connecting them to written words.