Talk:List of sign languages

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Deaf  
WikiProject icon This article is part of WikiProject Deaf, the WikiProject which seeks to improve articles relating to all aspects of deaf-related and Deaf culture. For the Project guidelines, see the project page or talk page.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Languages (Rated List-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Languages, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of standardized, informative and easy-to-use resources about languages on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 List  This article has been rated as List-Class on the project's quality scale.

Ugh, they need to come up with a signal International Sign Language[edit]

There is a minority of deaf people, and those able to practiCe sign language and to have sooo many variants will only hinder the amalgamation and cooperation of the deaf community and affiliated institutions.


Gestuno. — kwami (talk) 07:52, 24 February 2011 (UTC)


There is an official sign language of norway, called NSL (Norwegian sign language).

After fact checking I added NSL to the list for whoever left this comment Qaz 17:19, 23 August 2005 (UTC)


Are there sign language families? It would be interesting to see such a list. -Branddobbe 07:45, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Very little research has been done on sign language families, compared to spoken language families. See language family#Sign languages. As with spoken languages, a sign language variety is called a "dialect", "language" or even "family" (see BANZSL) for political reasons as much as linguistic ones. However, there's more research out there than has been published on wikipedia, and i would love to see it all available here. Any takers? If there's interest, i'd be keen to start a Sign language WikiProject. ntennis 01:09, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm a potential taker for the WikiProject. --Jadriaen 17:33, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
OK. I've made a rough draft project page at User:Ntennis/Deaf WikiProject proposal. I've also put a note on Wikipedia:Wikiproject/List of proposed projects where you can add your name if interested. Personally I think we need quite a bit more interest for this project to be viable, but this proposal might generate some. Look forward to collaborating. :) ntennis 02:33, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Would it be possible to group sign languages that are known in modern history to have evolved from each other? For instance, ASL + FSL under OFSL? I mean, even in the early years of linguistics, they knew that French Spanish and Italian were related, and that German was not the same relation. Having a list of known Sign Language families on this page would certainly be great. (For instance, we can immediately place Nicaraguan Sign Language as an Isolate, because it spontaneously appeared within very modern history, more so even within the era of treating sign languages as true languages.) --Puellanivis 22:16, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Plains Indian sign language?[edit]

I'm having a hard time finding info on Plains Indian sign language (I think that's the most common name). Is there a reason it's not listed here? It's an important part of Americans' pop concept of Native Americans (Google's best language reference is a Boy Scouts' "Indian" dictionary, here), but how much of it is actual? What was its influence on ASL? --ESP 05:30, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Plains Indian sign language is not listed because noone has put it there yet. It belongs in the "auxiliary sign systems" section. It is real, though I can't verify the actual signs given in the scouts page you linked. PISL apparently had little if any influence on ASL, which is largely OFSL-based; see the ASL talk page Talk:American Sign Language#ASL and native American sign languages and Talk:American Sign Language#Comment on Several Topics. ntennis 05:40, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
OK. I put it there and made a stub at Plains Indian Sign Language. --ESP 05:52, 17 January 2006 (UTC)


What sign language(s) are used in the Sarajevo Deaf community?--Sonjaaa 20:37, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Presumably Yugoslav Sign Language, whatever they happen to call it today, just as in the rest of the former Yugoslavia. — kwami (talk) 07:59, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

Quebec Sign Language (LSQ)[edit]

...was in the "Europe" subsection, I corrected it so that it be in the "Americas" subsection. 03:02, 23 February 2006 (UTC)Émilie.


Turkey isn't in the middle east, it's partly in Europe and partly in Asia, so it shouldn't be in the middle east section.

...The Middle East is part of Asia. "Middle East, Central Asia, East Asia" Which one would Turkey fall under? Middle East!

-G —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:30, 5 April 2007 (UTC).

how many sign languages?[edit]

what is a rough estimate of the number of sign langugaes existing in the world?--Sonjaaa 04:06, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Hum, I came to this talk page to ask the same question. I knew, there were many sign languages around, but when I looked at Ban Khor Sign Language and read, that there are seven sign languages in Thailand alone, I really was astonished. So perhaps my post here can attract some new attention to this old question. --::Slomox:: >< 01:16, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

No-one knows. Tanzania has seven schools for the deaf, and each has a separate sign language. Sri Lanka has 14 schools, and potentially 14 languages. Because hearing parents of deaf children generally do not teach their children language, when deaf schools are established that do not use an existing sign language (as in the case of Tanzania or Nicaragua, where only oral language was used), the children of each school create a new language of their own. No-one knows how many times this has happened. Similar things happen in communities with high levels of congenital deafness. It's quite difficult to trace influences which may exist between such communities, or between schools, unless there are historical records of, say, Irish nuns introducing ISL to a school (and even then it is likely that ISL would be an overlay atop an indigenous SL).

Given this, but also that some countries share SLs, I'd make a rough guess that the number of SLs in on the order of the number of countries, say ≈200. Ethnologue lists 130, though some are not independent languages (Croatian and Serbian, Indian and Pakistani, Flemish and Walloon), while others are not single langs (Tanzanian, Sri Lankan, Australian), and others are not listed (Tijuana). — kwami (talk) 08:13, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

List of sign languages by total number of speakers[edit]

People want to see a list of languages by total number of speakers for sign languages. Jidanni (talk) 18:03, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Not possible. We don't even know how many speakers American Sign Language has. — kwami (talk) 01:20, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Many references just deleted[edit]

I note that many references (generally URL's) were just deleted by editor Kwamikagami. Since such references, if they are live links, are valuable, I am not sure why deleting them is a good idea. Should they be restored? Pete unseth (talk) 15:04, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

I made a random routine check of just two deletions with the following results:
  • Jamaican Country Sign Language: A referencing link to the identification source of JCSL on the site of the University of Central Lancashire was deleted because the link exists already in the main article on JCSL.
  • Afgan Sign Language: A SIL request to the ISO Registration Authority[1] was deleted and replaced by a link to the resulting code change on the SIL site[2].
You would have to check those deletions one by one to determine to what extent they are justified. Thanks. Best, Eklir (talk) 20:52, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I was the one who added most of those in the first place. There were here to prove the languages existed, because we didn't have articles yet, and to provide sources for creating those articles. Now that we have dedicated articles, we no longer need the refs here.
I also added several new refs for remaining red links. — kwami (talk) 01:17, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I suspected that and that's why I did a random routine check. Best, Eklir (talk) 01:24, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Somali Sign Language[edit]

SoSL ---> LIS -> LSF -> BSL --SurdusVII (talk) 08:47, 31 August 2013 (UTC)


Hawai'i is listed under Asia and not America. Any particular reason for that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Stubborn Myth (talkcontribs) 05:26, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Great article but it's missing 'prison sign'[edit]

This is an amazingly well informed article on sign languages, but it's missing one. When I was in prison we used a language to sign to people we could see but not hear - like in the cafeteria when you see someone across the room and needed to quickly convey (or pass on) a message. I knew it was different from ASL because my wife had taught me some, and this wasn't the same. Just like ASL though, it had letters as well as words. Some of it I could tell came from gang signs, but not much. I'm positive that something similar is used in most prisons across America (if not the world). Sorry I can't help out with more info, but I'll come back and check this page soon. I didn't add it to the article because I don't feel like I know enough about this language since I only used it for a few months. Rich M. (talk) 16:33, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Two questions: Could you hold a conversation in it, or was it limited to rudimentary messages? Is is common across prisons, or different in each one? — kwami (talk) 23:09, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Kwami has brought up a very important point: is prison sign a true language, or just a basic signalling system? For example, can users of prison sign communicate (not just by spelling) an abstract sentence like "I hope that the people I have hurt will forgive me"? If so, then it is a language. Otherwise, such a system is not a true language. Pete unseth (talk) 00:17, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

Yiddish Sign Language[edit]

There is an ISO 639-3 code yds for Yiddish Sign Language, so we cannot dismiss it without some investigation. I will take it upon myself to contact the ISO 639-3 people and see what evidence, if any, they have in their files. If they have solid evidence, I will summarize it here, then we can simply keep Yiddish Sign Language in this list. If they have no solid evidence, then we can delete it here and I will also file a change request with ISO 639-3, asking them to delete Yiddish Sign Language. So, in the meantime, I gently ask that Yiddish Sign Language be retained in the list for a couple of weeks while I check it out. I hope this is reasonable. Pete unseth (talk) 12:24, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi Pete. I emailed you about this. — kwami (talk) 00:54, 5 October 2013 (UTC)