Chereme

Chereme

[ker-eem]
The chereme (from χείρ, "hand"), is a term for the basic unit of signed communication. It is functionally equivalent to the phonemes of oral languages, and has been replaced by that term in the academic literature.

The term was coined in 1960 by William Stokoe at Gallaudet University as part of an attempt to demonstrate that sign languages are true and full languages, but that position is now universally accepted and there is no longer felt a need to demonstrate it through terminology.

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