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Pedro Ponce de León (1520–1584) is said to have developed the first manual alphabet.
In 1648, John Bulwer described "Master Babington", a deaf man proficient in the use of a manual alphabet, "contryved on the joynts of his fingers", whose wife could converse with him easily, even in the dark through the use of tactile signing.
Sign languages (also known as signed languages) are languages that use manual communication to convey meaning.
Arthrological systems had been in use by hearing people for some time; The vowels of this alphabet have survived in the contemporary alphabets used in British Sign Language, Auslan and New Zealand Sign Language.
Sign languages generally do not have any linguistic relation to the spoken languages of the lands in which they arise.
The correlation between sign and spoken languages is complex and varies depending on the country more than the spoken language.
Nine of its letters can be traced to earlier alphabets, and 17 letters of the modern two-handed alphabet can be found among the two sets of 26 handshapes depicted.
Charles de La Fin published a book in 1692 describing an alphabetic system where pointing to a body part represented the first letter of the part (e.g.