Amami Oshima Sign Language

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Amami Island Sign
Amami Oshima Sign
Native to Japan
Region Amami Oshima
Native speakers
(no estimate available)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Glottolog None

Amami Island Sign, or Amami Oshima Sign (Amami O Shima Sign, AOSL), is a village sign language, or group of languages, on Amami Oshima, the largest island in the Amami Islands of Japan. The region has a high incidence of congenital deafness, which is dominant and tends to run in a few families; moreover, the difficulty of the terrain has kept these families largely separated, so that there is extreme lexical geographical diversity across the island, and AOSL is therefore perhaps not a single language.


  • Osugi, Yutaka; Ted Supalla; and Rebecca Webb (1999). "The use of word elicitation to identify distinctive gestural systems on Amami Island." Sign Language & Linguistics, 2:1:87–112

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