Signing was also recognised as the means of communication with deaf people in court. In a case in 1786 where a deaf man was a witness, his sister served as the interpreter. She was asked
Now how is it that you would communicate the question you would ask to your brother. Are they signs that you make or are they expressive of any particular words or are they expressive of letters of Syllables?
Interpreter (sister): Not letters or Syllables but by motions of words.