Catalan Sign Language

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Catalan Sign Language
Llengua de signes catalana
Native to Catalonia and Comunitat Valenciana
Native speakers
est. 9,000 (2014)[1]
possibly French SL
  • Catalan Sign Language
Dialects
Language codes
ISO 639-3 csc
Glottolog cata1287[2]

Catalan Sign Language (Catalan: Llengua de signes catalana, LSC; IPA: [ˈʎeŋɡwə ðə ˈsiŋnəs kətəˈɫanə]) is a sign language used by around 18,000 people in different regions of Spain including Barcelona and Catalonia. As of 2012, the Catalan Federation for the Deaf estimates 25,000 LSC signers and roughly 12,000 deaf people around the Catalan region.[3] It has about 50% intelligibility with Spanish Sign Language (LSE). On the basis of mutual intelligibility, lexicon, and social attitudes, linguists have argued that LSC and LSE are distinct languages.[4]

Since 1994, LSC has had official status, due to a law to promote the language promulgated by Generalitat de Catalunya. Catalonia was the first Spanish Autonomous Community to approve a law for a sign language.

FESOCA (Catalan Federation of Deaf People) is an NGO founded in 1979 to represent and to defend the rights of deaf associations and individuals to achieve a full social participation and integration. FESOCA organises several courses, activities and meetings. In 2007, a bill was passed in Spain referred to as the "Bill of Deaf People" which was designed to cover sign language issues.[5]

There are research groups for LSC, such as ILLESCAT (LSC Study Centre). This centre studies the evolution of the language, makes linguistic studies and creates new neologisms. The Platform for Linguistic and Cultural Rights for LSC Users aka LSC, Ara! carried out a law to promote this language in the Statute of Autonomy.

Classification[edit]

Wittmann (1991)[6] suspects that LSC may be part of the French Sign Language family, but transmission to Catalonia would have happened early, and is not easy to demonstrate. Likewise, a Linguistic Professor from the University of Coruna who specializes in LSC, found that the difference between a language like this and other more common forms of sign language is the use of "neutral space" in front of the signer when speaking on real life situations as well as the use of visual character.[7]

Linguistic properties[edit]

LSC primarily uses two of the three planes: horizontal and vertical planes.[8]

A 2008 study using LSC demonstrated a universal pattern in the manner in the way signed and spoken language are used to communicate ideas. The experiment took into consideration movement, handshake and location as the three modes of comparison and analysis.[9]

In another study, the numeral signs of LSC were analyzed, noting the differing methods of signing numbers above five, which found some differences between LSC and American Sign Language (ASL) and emphasized how these changes can cause a language to change and evolve.[10] Catalan Sign Language is more transparent (makes decimal values more explicit) than Spanish and Catalan.[11]

Impersonal sentences in LSC are determinant upon syntactic differences in pronominal forms, role shift, and spatial locations.[12]

As in ASL, verbs are divided into simple, deictic, and spatial-locative verbs.[13]

The complexity of signing metaphors in LSC was studied in an experiment involving double-mapping, and the iconicity in sign languages like LSC and ASL plays a fundamental role for cognitive theories noting the symbiotic relationship between grammar and bodily cognition.[14] Deaf people in Catalonia are taught to read and write oral languages.[15][page needed]

LSC Award[edit]

In May 2015 the Departament de Cultura (Department for Culture) created the LSC Award[16] in order to acknowledge individuals, institutions and initiatives for their contribution to the promotion and spreading of LSC.

This biennial award has the same consideration as other awards regarding spoken languages like the Pompeu Fabra Award for Catalan and the Robèrt Lafont Award for Occitan.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Catalan Sign Language at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Catalan Sign". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Barbera, Gemma. "The meaning of space in Catalan Sign Language (LSC)" (PDF). 
  4. ^ Quer, Josep. "Legal Pathways to the Recognition of Sign Languages: A Comparison of the Catalan and Spanish Sign Language Acts". Sign Language Studies. pp. 565–582. doi:10.1353/sls.2012.0012. 
  5. ^ Quer, Josep. "Legal Pathways to the Recognition of Sign Languages: A Comparison of the Catalan and Spanish Sign Language Acts". Sign Language Studies. pp. 565–582. doi:10.1353/sls.2012.0012. 
  6. ^ Wittmann, Henri (1991). "Classification linguistique des langues signées non vocalement." Revue québécoise de linguistique théorique et appliquée 10:1.215–88.[1]
  7. ^ "Log In - ProQuest". Retrieved 2016-05-01. 
  8. ^ Barbera, Gemma. "Use and Functions of Spatial Planes in Catalan Sign Language (LSC) Discourse". Project Muse. 
  9. ^ Baus, Cristina; Gutiérrez-Sigut, Eva; Quer, Josep; Carreiras, Manuel. "Lexical Access in Catalan Signed Language (LSC)". ScienceDirect. 
  10. ^ Fuentes, Mariana; Tolchinsky Landsmann, Liliana. "The Subsystem of Numerals in Catalan Sign Language: Description and Examples from a Psycholinguistic Study". Project Muse. 
  11. ^ Fuentes, Mariana; Tolchinsky Landsmann, Liliana. "The Subsystem of Numerals in Catalan Sign Language: Description and Examples from a Psycholinguistic Study". Project Muse. 
  12. ^ Meurant, Laurence; Lie Sinte, Aur; Van Herreweghe, Mieke (2013). Sign Language Research, Uses and Practices. Boston: De Gruyter Mouton. ISBN 1614511993. 
  13. ^ Morales-López, Esperanza; Boldú-Menasanch, Rosa Maria; Alonso-Rodríguez, Jesús Amador; Gras-Ferrer, Victòria; Rodríguez-González, María Ángeles. "The Verbal System of Catalan Sign Language (LSC)". Project Muse. 
  14. ^ Jarque, Maria-Josep. "Double Mapping in Metaphorical Expressions of Thought and Communication in Catalan Sign Language (LSC)". Questia. 
  15. ^ Google Books. 
  16. ^ "Es crea el Premi LSC de Foment de la Llengua de Signes Catalana". Departament de cultura (Generalitat de Catalunya). 9 May 2015.