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M-9

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Vulcan salute M-9

A sign of the M-9 language

M-9 was a designation of gestural language learned by Lieutenant Commander Data in his attempt to communicate with Riva, a deaf mediator from Ramatis III. M-9 was a final candidate in Data's search to identify a particular language Riva was using. As such, Data viewed multiple M-9 gestures on a screen.

One of the gestures of the M-9 sign language was similar to the Vulcan salute. (TNG: "Loud As A Whisper")

According to the reference book Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd ed., p. 281), M-9 was originated by the Leyrons. The book also mentions that most of the gestures seen on Data's screen were adapted from American Sign Language (which makes sense, as Riva actor Howie Seago used ASL), and the Vulcan salute was included "to see if anyone would notice."

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