Phonetic Learning

   "The term ‘chirology’ (from the Greek cheir ‘hand’), the study of the constituents of signs has been one of the major concerns of linguistic research since the 1960s. The term ‘phonology’ is used in the context of sign language research to emphasize the parallels in structure between spoken and sign languages at this level. Before Stokoe (1960), signs had been regarded as unanalyzable, unitary gestures, and therefore as containing no level analogous to the phonological. Stokoe’s contribution was to recognize that American Sign Language (ASL) signs could be viewed as compositional, with subelements contrasting with each other, and thus unlike gestures.  More recent research has sought to apply approaches to phonological theory in spoken languages, such as autosegmental phonology, to sign structure."

   One of the most dangerous and misunderstood portions of youth violence is gang life.  Young children are recruited by gang members everyday before they ever have a chance.   An integral part of gang life is an in depth comprehension of hand signs used for communication.  These hand signs are used to signify respect and power and dicctate orders.  They are a way of showing your affiliation and allegiance without wearing colors.

   Each sign is representational of the more notorious gangs in the world.  The hand signs were individually carved onto a woodblock and then hand printed.  Their design is comparable to sign language cards used to teach children while secretly being something much darker.  The question remains can a tool used to educate children but altered to educate adults about their children?