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Sign Language   Tags: deaf, faq  

A collection of commonly-asked questions about sign languages, particularly American Sign Language.
Last Updated: Sep 18, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Sign Languages: A-H Print Page

Sign languages of the world by name

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H


Adamarobe Sign Language: Ghana

  • REPORT: David, J.B. et al. (1971). "Adamarobe: a 'deaf' village," Sound, v.5, p.70-72.

Al Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language: Israel

  • REPORT: Wade, Nicholas (2005 February 1). "A new language arises, and scientists watch it evolve." The New York Times, v.CLIV no.53,112, p.F3.

Algerian Sign Language: Algeria, Morocco

Amami O Shima Sign Language: Japan

  • STUDY: Osugi, Yutaka; Ted Supalla; and Rebecca Webb (1999). "The use of word elicitation to identify distinctive gestural systems on Amami Island." Sign Language & Linguistics, vol. 2 no.1, p.87-112.

American Indian Sign Language = Plains Indians Sign Language: United States

American Sign Language: United States, Canada, American Samoa, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Hong Kong, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zaire, Zimbabwe.

  • DICTIONARY: Sternberg, Martin L.A. (1998). American Sign Language, Unabridged Edition. New York: HarperCollins.
  • STUDY: Stokoe, William C. (1960). Sign language structure: an outline of the visual communication systems of the American deaf. Buffalo, NY: Dept. of Anthropology and Linguistics, University of Buffalo.

Ameslan = American Sign Language

Anglo-Saxon Monastic Sign Language: Great Britain.

  • STUDY: Umiker-Sebeok, Jean, and Thomas A Sebeok, eds. (1987). Monastic sign languages. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Arabic Sign Language: This does not really exist, in the sense of a sign language common to several Arabic-speaking countries. Rather, the deaf people of each Arabic country have their own separate and indigenously developed sign languages.

Aranda Sign Language = DIALECT of Australian Aborigines Sign Language: Australia

  • DICTIONARY: Strehlow, Carl (1978). "The sign language of the Aranda," in Aboriginal sign languages of the Americas and Australia. New York: Plenum Press, v.2, p.349-370.

Argentine Sign Language: Argentina

  • DICTIONARY: Massone, Maria Ignacia (1993). Lengua de Señas Argentina = Argentine Sign Language: primer diccionario bilingüe = first bilingual dictionary. Buenos Aires: Editoria Sopena Argentina.
  • STUDY: Massone, Maria Ignacia (1994). Lengua de Señas Argentina: análisis y vocabulario bilingüe. Buenos Aires: Edicial.

Armenian Women's Sign Language: (defunct) Armenia

Armenian Sign Language: Armenia

Arunta Sign Language = Aranda Sign Language DIALECT of Australian Aborigines Sign Language: Australia

Augustinian Sign Language (defunct): France, Great Britain

Auslan = Australian Sign Language: Australia

Australasian Sign Language = Australian Sign Language and New Zealand Sign Language together

  • DICTIONARY: Jeanes, Raymond C.; Brian E. Reynolds; and Bernadette C. Coleman (1989). Dictionary of Australasian signs for communication with the deaf, 2nd ed. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: Victorian School for Deaf Children.

Australian Aborigines Sign Language: Australia

  • STUDY: Roth, Walter E. (1978). "The expression of ideas by manual signs: a sign-language," in Aboriginal sign languages of the Americas and Australia. New York: Plenum Press, v.2, p.273-301.

Australian Sign Language: Australia

  • DICTIONARY: Johnston, Trevor, ed. (1998). Signs of Australia : a new dictionary of Auslan (the sign language of the Australian deaf community), 2nd ed. North Rocks, NSW, Australia: North Rocks Press, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children.

Austrian Sign Language: Austria

  • DICTIONARY: Forschungszentrum für Gebärdensprache und Hörgeschädigtenkommunikation (1997). ÖGS-Lex 1.0, Vokabeltrainer der ÖGS (Österreichischen Gebärdensprache). (CD-ROM) Klagenfurt, Austria: FZGS.
  • STUDY: Wilbur, Ronnie B. (2002). "Phrase structure in ASL and ÖGS," in Schulmeister, Rolf, and, Heimo Reinitzer,eds., Progress in sign language research: in honor of Siegmund Prillwitz = Fortschritte in der Gebärdensprachforschung: Festschrift für Siegmund Prillwitz. Hamburg: Signum, p.235-247.

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Bahasa Malaysia Kod Tangan = Malaysian Sign Language: Malaysia

Bali Sign Language: Indonesia

  • STUDY: Branson, Jan; Don Miller; and I Gede Marsaja (1996). "Everyone here speaks sign language, too: a deaf village in Bali, Indonesia", in Lucas, Ceil, ed., Multicultural aspects of sociolinguistics in deaf communities. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press.

Bamako Sign Language: Mali

Ban Khor Sign Language: Thailand

Bangalore-Madras Sign Language = DIALECT of Indian Sign Language: India

  • DICTIONARY: Vasishta, Madan; James Woodward; and Susan deSantis (1985). An introduction to the Bangalore variety of Indian Sign Language. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet Research Institute.

Bangkok Sign Language (Original) (defunct): Thailand

Bedouin Sign Language = Al Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language

Belgian Sign Language: Belgium, Kenya

Exists in two dialects, Dutch (Flemish or North Belgian) and French (Walloon or South Belgian). The degree of their relationships to Dutch Sign Language and French Sign Language respectively, or to each other, apparently has not been studied.
  • DUTCH (NORTH BELGIAN) DIALECT (Vlaamse Gebarentaal):
    • DICTIONARY: Woord en gebaar: 1200 dovengebaren [4th ed.] (1991). Gentbrugge, Belgium: Federatie van Vlaamse Dovenverenigingen.
    • STUDY: Bunkens, M.; K. Cuestermans; and V. van Wassenhove (1984). Een exploratief onderzoek naar het voorkomen van dialectzones van Gebaartekens in Vlaanderen. Antwerpen, Belgium: [s.n.].
    • DICTIONARY: Commission Francophone du Langage des Sourds (1985). Les signes, 2° ed. Bruxelles: C.F.L.S.
    • STUDY: Rondal, J.A.; F. Henrot; and M. Charlier (1986). Le langue des signes. Liege, Belgium: Pierre Mardaga.

Belizean Sign Language: Belize

Beluchistan Sign Language = DIALECT of Indo-Pakistan Sign Language: Pakistan

Benedictine Sign Language: Worldwide, but especially France, Britain, USA

Bengali Sign Language: Bangladesh

  • DICTIONARY: Bengali sign language dictionary (1994). Sutrapur, Dhaka: National Centre for Special Education, Ministry of Social Welfare.

Bern Sign Language = DIALECT of Swiss-German Sign Language: Switzerland

Black American Sign Language = DIALECT of American Sign Language: United States

  • STUDY: Woodward, James C., Jr. (1975). "Black Southern signing", Language in society , vol.5, p.211-218.

Black Southern Sign Language = Black American Sign Language: United States

Bolivian Sign Language: Bolivia

Bologna Sign Language = DIALECT of Italian Sign Language: Italy

Bombay Sign Language = DIALECT of Indian Sign Language: India

  • DICTIONARY: Vasishta, Madan; James Woodward; and Susan de Santis (1986). An introduction to the Bombay variety of Indian sign language. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet Research Institute.

Brazilian Cities Sign Language = DIALECT of Brazilian Sign Language: Brazil

  • STUDY: Berenz, Norine, and Lucinda Ferreira Brito (1987). "Pronouns in BCSL and ASL," in Edmonson, W.H., and F. Karlsson, eds., SLR '87: Papers from the Fourth International Symposium on Sign Language Research. Hamburg: Signum-Press, p.26-36.

Brazilian Sign Language: Brazil

  • DICTIONARY: Capovilla, Fernando César (2001). Dicionário enciclopédico ilustrado trilíngüe da Língua de Sinais Brisileira. São Paulo: Editora da Universidade de São Paulo.
  • STUDY: Coutinho, Denise (1998). Libras língua brasileira de sinais e língua portuguesa : semelhanças e diferenças, 2a ed. Paraíba, Brasil: João Pessõa.

British Sign Language: Great Britain, Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda

  • DICTIONARY: Brien, David, ed. (1992). Dictionary of British sign language. London; Boston: Faber and Faber.
  • STUDY: Sutton-Spence, Rachel, and Bencie Woll (1999). The linguistics of British Sign Language: an introduction. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Bulgarian Sign Language: Bulgaria

  • DICTIONARY: Yanulov [or Ianulov], Nikola; Marcho Radulov; and Khristo Georgiev (1961). Kratuk mimicheski rechnik. Sofia: Narodna Prosveta.

Bura Sign Language: Nigeria

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Cabra Schools Sign Language = Old Irish Sign Language: Ireland

Calcutta Sign Language = DIALECT of Indian Sign Language: India

  • DICTIONARY: Vasishta, Madan; James Woodward; and Susan de Santis (1987). An introduction to the Calcutta variety of Indian sign language. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet Research Institute.

Canadian Sign Language: Canada

This does not really exist. What some people mean by "Canadian Sign Language" is actually American Sign Language with a few local terms added and a small bit of British Sign Language influence. The name may owe more to nationalistic feelings than to any actual linguistic differences. Distinct Canadian sign languages do exist in the French-speaking areas of Canada, in the Atlantic Provinces, and in the Inuit (Eskimo) population. (see French Canadian Sign Language, Nova Scotian Sign Language, and Inuit Sign Language).

Canon Sign Language = Augustinian Sign Language (defunct)

Catalan Sign Language = Catalonian Sign Language

Catalonian Sign Language: Spain (Llengua de Signes Catalana)

  • DICTIONARY: Perello, Jorge, and Juan Frigola (1998). Lenguaje de signos manuals, segunda edicion. Madrid : CIE Inversiones Editoriales Dossat.
  • STUDY: Pruss Romagosa, Eva (1997). "Die katalanische Gebärdensprache: historische und sozialpolitische Aspekte." Das Zeichen, 11:40, p.188-195.

Caucasian Sign Language = Armenian Women's Sign Language (defunct)

Ceský znakový jazyk = Czech Sign Language: Czech Republic

Chadian Sign Language: Chad

Chiangmai Sign Language = DIALECT of Thai Sign Language: Thailand

Chiangmai Sign Language (Original) (defunct): Thailand

Chilean Sign Language: Chile (Lengua de Señas Chilena)

  • DICTIONARY: Pilleux, Mauricio; Heman Cuevas; and Erica Avalos, eds. (1991a). El lenguaje de señas. Valdivia: Universidad Austral de Chile.
  • STUDY: Pilleux, Mauricio; Hernán Cuevas; and Erica Avalos (1991b). El lenguaje de señas: análisis sintáctico-sémantico. Valdiva: Universidad Austral de Chile.

Chinese Sign Language: China, Taiwan, Malaysia

  • DICTIONARY: Chung-kuo lung jen hsieh hui pien chi (1990). Chung-kuo shou yü. Beijing: Hua-hsia chu pan she.
  • STUDY: Yau, Shun-Chiu (1991). "La langue des signes chinoise," Cahiers de linguistique Asie Orientale, 20:1, p. 138-142.

Chiying Sign Language = DIALECT of Taiwanese Sign Language: China (Taiwan)

Cistercian Sign Language

  • STUDY: Barakat, Robert (1975a) "On ambiguity in the Cistercian Sign Language," Sign language studies, no.8, p.275-289.
    • St. Joseph: United States
      • STUDY: Barakat, Robert A. (1975b). The Cistercian sign language: a study in non-verbal communication. Kalamazoo, Mich.: Cistercian Publications.
    • Cluny (Clunaic): France
      • STUDY: Schmitz, G. (1923) "Die Gebärdensprache der Klunianser und Hirsauer," Blätter für Taubstummenbildung, v.36 p.347-364.

Colombian Sign Language: Colombia

  • DICTIONARY: Royet, Henry Mejía (1993). Lenguaje manual Colombiáno: curso basico. Bogotá: Federacion Nacional de Sordos de Colombia.
  • STUDY: Oviedo, Alejandro (2001). Apuntes para una gramática de la Lengua de Señas Colombiana. Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia: INSOR.

Conceptually Accurate Sign English (CASE) = Pidgin Sign English: United States

Congolese Sign Language: Zaïre

  • DICTIONARY: Cornett, David J. (1990). Communiquons avec les sourds. Bandundu, Zaire: [s.n.]

Córdoba Sign Language: DIALECT of Argentine Sign Language: Argentina

  • DICTIONARY: Crespo, Nina (1993). Diccionario del languaje de señas de Córdoba-Argentina. Córdoba, Argentina: Panorama Match.

Costa Rican Sign Language: Costa Rica

  • DICTIONARY: Departamento de Educación Especial (1979). Hacia una nueva forma de communicación con el sordo. San Jose, Costa Rica: Departamento de Publicaciones, Ministerio de Educación Pública.
  • STUDY: Woodward, James (1991). "Sign language varieties in Costa Rica," Sign language studies, 20:73, p.329-346.

Croatian Sign Language: Croatia

  • STUDY: Kuhn, Ninoslava Šarac; Tamara Alibašić Ciciliani; and Ronnie B. Wilbur (2006). "Phonological parameters in Croatian Sign Language." Sign Language & Linguistics, vol. 9 no.1/2.

Cuban Sign Language: Cuba

  • DICTIONARY: Meneses Volumen, Alina (1993). Manual de lengua de señas cubanas. Habana, Cuba: ANSOC.

Cued Speech: United States, Australia, some other countries

  • MAJOR REFERENCE: Cornett, R. Orin, and Mary Elsie Daisey (1992). The cued speech resource book for parents of deaf children. Raleigh, N.C.: National Cued Speech Association.

Cyprus Sign Language: Cyprus

Czech Sign Language: Czech Republic

  • DICTIONARY: Gabrielová, D.; J. Paur; and J. Zeman (1988). Slovník znakové reci. Praha: Horizont.

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Danish Sign Language: Denmark, Tanzania

  • DICTIONARY: Dansk-tegn ordbog, rev. ed. (1986). København [Denmark]: Danske Døves Landsforbund, 1986.
  • STUDY: Engberg-Peterson, Elisabeth; Britta Hansen; and Ruth Kjær Sørensen (1981). Døves tegnsprog. [s.l.]: Arkona.

Deaf Sign Language: Ireland (do not confuse with Irish Sign Language: Ireland)

Delhi Sign Language: DIALECT of Indo-Pakistan Sign Language: India

  • DICTIONARY: Vasishta, Madan; James Woodward; and Susan de Santis (1980). An introduction to Indian Sign Language (focus on Delhi). College Park, Md.: Sign Language Research [also pub. New Delhi: All India Federation of the Deaf, 1980].

Deutsche Gebärdensprache = German Sign Language: Germany

Dieri Sign Language = DIALECT of Australian Aborigines Sign Language: Australia

Djingili Sign Language = DIALECT of Australian Aborigines Sign Language: Australia

Dominican Sign Language: Dominican Republic

  • STUDY: Gerner de Garcia, Barbara (1990). "The emerging deaf community in the Dominican Republic: an ethnographic study," in Lucas, Ceil, ed., Sign language research, theoretical issues: proceedings of the International Conference, Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research, II, May 18-21, 1988 at Gallaudet University. Washington: Gallaudet University Press, p.259-272.

Dutch Sign Language: Netherlands.

  • DICTIONARY: Groninger gebarenwoordenboek (1985). Haren, Netherlands: Koninklijk Instituut voor Doven "H.D. Guyot".
  • STUDY: Koenen, Liesbeth; Tony Bloem; and Ruud Janssen (1993). Gebarentaal: de taal van doven in Nederland. Amsterdam: Nijgh & Van Ditmar.

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Ecuadorian Sign Language: Ecuador

  • DICTIONARY: Libro de señas: guia básica (1987). Quito, Ecuador: Sociedad de Sordo Adultos "Fray Luis Ponce de León," Proyecto "Mano a Mano".
  • STUDY: Velasquez, Carmen (1994). "The birth of Ecuadorian Sign Language," in Erting, Carol J. et al., eds., The deaf way: perspectives from the International Conference on Deaf Culture. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press, p.123-126.

Egyptian Sign Language: Egypt

  • DICTIONARY: Suwayd, Abd al-Hamid (1984). Al-Qamus al-ishari. [Cairo, Egypt?]: [s.n.]

El Paso Gang Sign Language: United States

  • REPORT: Lombino, Mary-Kay (2000). "James Drake", DrakeJa/DrakeJaFile/JaDrake0100Essay.html, seen on July 23, 2002.

El Salvadoran Sign Language: El Salvador

Enga Sign Language: Papua New Guinea

  • STUDY: Kendon, Adam (1980a, b, c). "A description of a deaf-mute sign language from the Enga Province of Papua New Guinea: with some comparative discussion". Semiotica, v.31, nos.1-2, p.1-34; v.32, no.1-2, p.81-117; v.32, no.3-4, p.245-313.

Eskimo Sign Language = Inuit Sign Language: Canada

Estonian Sign Language: Estonia

  • DICTIONARY: Toom, Koostaja R. (1988). Kõelevad käed: eesti viipekeele sõnastik. Tallinn: [K.R. Toom?].

Ethiopian Sign Language: Ethiopia

  • STUDY: Derso, Tekle Haimanot (1981). "The development of gestural communication in Ethiopia," in Bulgarian Deaf Union, ed., The deaf people in modern society: proceedings of the 8th World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf, Varna, June 20-27, 1979. Varna, Bulgaria, p.350-353.

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Fiji Sign Language: Fiji

  • DICTIONARY: Cabbage, Don, and John Peterson (2002?). Fiji Sign Language, volume I. El Paso, Texas: International Communication Publishers.

Filipino Sign Language = Philippines Sign Language: Philippines

Finnish Sign Language: Finland, Tanzania

  • DICTIONARY: Viittomakielen kuvasanakirja. [2nd amended ed.] (1977). [Helsinki]: Kuurojen Liitto.
  • STUDY: Rissanen, Terhi (1986). "The basic structure of Finnish Sign Language," in Tervoort, Bernard T., ed., Signs of life: proceedings of the Second European Congress on Sign Language Research, Amsterdam July 14-18, 1985. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam, p.42-46.

Finnish-Swedish Sign Language: Finland

Flemish Sign Language = Dutch (North Belgian) DIALECT of Belgian Sign Language: Belgium

Florence Sign Language = DIALECT of Italian Sign Language: Italy

Franco-American Sign Language: Cameroon and elsewhere in West and Central Africa

French Canadian Sign Language: Canada, Mali

  • DICTIONARY: Bourcier, Paul, and Julie Élaine Roy (1985). La langue des signes, LSQ. Montréal: Publication Bourcier & Roy.
  • STUDY: Études sur la langue des signes québécoise (1993). Montréal: Presses de l'Université de Montréal.

French Sign Language: France, Mali, Rwanda, Switzerland, Togo, Vietnam, Zaire

  • DICTIONARY: Girod, Michel, ed. (1997). La langue des signes. Vincennes, France: International Visual Theatre, 1997.
  • STUDY: Jouison, Paul (1995). Ecrits sur la langue des signes française. Paris: Harmattan.

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Geneva Sign Language = DIALECT of Swiss-French Sign Language: Switzerland

Genova Sign Language = DIALECT of Italian Sign Language: Italy

German Sign Language: Germany, Tanzania

  • DICTIONARY: Maisch, Günther, and Fritz-H. Wisch (1987-89). Gebärden-Lexikon. Hamburg: Verlag hörgeschädigter Kinder.
  • STUDY: Rammel, Georg (1974). Die Gebärdensprache: Versuch einer Wesenanalyse. Berlin-Charlottenburg: Marhold.

Gestuno = International Sign Language: International

Ghanian Sign Language: Ghana

Global Gesture = Worldsign: International

Greek Sign Language: Greece

  • DICTIONARY: Triantaphullides, Georgios (1987). Systema hellenikon neumaton. Thessalonika: Hoi Philoi Ton Kophalalon Thessalonikes.

Guatemalan Sign Language: Guatemala

  • DICTIONARY: Lenguaje de señas guatemalteco (Lensegua), primera edición (2000). Guatemala: Comité pro Ciegos y Sordos de Guatemala/Asociación de Sordos de Guatemala.

Guinean Sign Language: Guinea

Guyana Sign Language: Guyana

  • DICTIONARY: Cabbage, Don, and John Peterson (2002?). Guyana Sign Language, volume I. El Paso, Texas: International Communication Publishers.

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Haiphong Sign Language: Vietnam

Hanoi Sign Language: Vietnam

Harem Sign Language = Seraglio Sign Language: Turkey / Ottoman Empire

Hausa Sign Language: Nigeria

  • STUDY: Schmaling, Constanze (2000). Maganar hannu, language of the hands: a descriptive analysis of Hausa sign language. Hamburg: Signum-Verlag.

Hawaii Pidgin Sign Language: United States

Hill Country Sign Language: Thailand

Hindu Dance Gesture Language: India

  • DICTIONARY: Hughes, R.M. (1941). The gesture language of the Hindu dance. New York: Blom (1979 reprint, New York: Arno Press).

Ho Chi Minh City Sign Language: Vietnam

Holmestrand School Sign Language = DIALECT of Norwegian Sign Language: Norway

Home Signs: International

Honduran Sign Language: Honduras

Hong Kong Sign Language: China

  • DICTIONARY: Goodstadt, Rose Yin-Chee (1972). Speaking with signs; a sign language manual for Hongkong's deaf. Hong Kong: Government Printer.

Hrvatskog Znakovnog Jezika = Croatian Sign Language: Croatia

Hungarian Sign Language: Hungary

  • DICTIONARY: Berbeco, Steven, ed. (1999). A magyar jelnyelv szótára = Dictionary of Hungarian Sign Language. Budapest: Siketek és Nagyothallók Országos Szövetsége.
  • STUDY: Iván, Vasák (1995). A jelnyelv elmélete és módszertana. [S.l., s.n.]

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