What is ixaratte?
August 19, 2009 8:00 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone tell me more about "ixaratte"? It's supposed to be a complicated court sign-language of the Ottoman empire.

I came across it in an article but further Googling turns up only - yup - the same article.

I must learn more about this!! Where do I start? (Other than buying the book listed in the article? I'm onto that one already...)
posted by ninazer0 to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There is a Wikipedia page for Turkish Sign Language.

Note this sentence: "There are references to deaf signs in use in the court of the Ottoman Empire between the 16th century and 17th centuries."

The cite is a book called "Signing in the Seraglio". Searching for that phrase leads here.

Does that help?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:08 PM on August 19, 2009

Oh yeah, it appears that the Turkish for "sign language" is "İşaret Dili", which seems like a good source for "ixaratte" if a Romance language speaker tried to write what they heard in their own spelling.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:10 PM on August 19, 2009

Best answer: It looks like "ixaratte" is a misspelling of Ixarette, which gets a lot more Google hits.
posted by gubo at 8:20 PM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

Well ixaratte or Ixarette is not Turkish. Take a look at this wikipedia article. The Turkish version also lists two references which might give you some information,

Miles, M. (2000). Signing in the Seraglio: Mutes, dwarfs and gestures at the Ottoman Court 1500-1700, Disability & Society, Vol. 15, No. 1, 115-134

Dikyuva, H & Zeshan,U. (2008) Turkish Sign Language One Level (Turk Isaret Dili Birinci Seviye) Nijmegen Ishara Press

I also found this research website, and they have a list of papers that you might find interesting.
posted by caelumluna at 8:27 PM on August 19, 2009

Bingo. "Ixarette" is a 17th century Frenchman's attempt at writing "İşaret".
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:41 PM on August 19, 2009


"Des Muetz. Les Muetz, qui s'appellent Dilzsiz, c'est à dire sans langues, c'est cho- {p. 68} ses merveilleuses de veoir discourir ces muetz, d'aultant qu'il ny à chose au monde si naturelle, que celle icy artificielle, de telle sorte qu'ilz se font entendre par signe du corps des mains gauches & droictes, du crachat, & avec d'aultres signes l'un à l'aultre, ce qu'ils veulent, & mesme à ceux de la Cour, qui pour praticquer ordinairement avec eux, ont ce muet langage, ce qui est plus à admirer en cecy, c'est qu'ils ne se font pas seulement entendre de iour, mais encor de nuict, sans bruit aulcun de voix, mais simplement par le toucher des mains, & aultres parties du corps, ave qu'oy ils ont faict un nouveau langage entre eux, chose presque impossible à l'esprit de l'homme, & se monstre mesme aux grandz Seigneurs, & plusieurs aultres, qui l'apprennent, comme on fait les aultres langues, ce langage s'appelle Ixarette."

There is a lot of other interesting stuff on that page too.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:47 PM on August 19, 2009

Response by poster: Fascinating stuff! Thanks so much, guys.
posted by ninazer0 at 10:51 PM on August 19, 2009

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