I was thinking the other day about how sign language is often forgotten about when people talk about the languages that they speak. The thought that followed it was essentially: can chanting with your hands, using sign language, achieve the same results as chanting with a voice?
I, as someone who has never yet used chanting in practice, can see little problem with it in concept. The signs represent words with inherent meaning, so on the face of things participating in a chant while being unable to speak should work. However, is there more to the practice of chanting than just being able to say the words? The obvious answer is yes, of course there is, the intent behind the words is what matters.
But what if it is more than that? What if it is the resonance of a persons voice that creates the magical effect of a chant, or the way the spoken words act upon each other one after the other? Is the same effect created when you form signs that only represent the spoken word? Or perhaps, are signs more effective? After all, the spoken word is only a way of expressing a thought and the thought that a single word can express is quite limited whereas a sign can have an incredible amount of meaning to it.
Something to think about.