Ghardaia Sign Language

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Ghardaia Sign Language
Algerian Jewish Sign Language
Native to Israel, possibly France
Native speakers
moribund  (date missing)[citation needed]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Glottolog ghar1240[1]

Ghardaia Sign Language, also known as Algerian Jewish Sign Language, is an endangered village sign language originally of Ghardaïa, Algeria that is now spoken in Israel.

The Jewish community of Ghardaïa emigrated to France and Israel in 1966. However, because deaf Algerian Jews tended to marry deaf Israelis from other backgrounds, the language of the home became Israeli Sign Language. GSL is therefore moribund, being used primarily by deaf immigrants with their siblings and parents, and ironically more widespread among hearing immigrants, who are not part of Israeli Deaf culture, than among the deaf.


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Ghardaia Sign Language". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  • Lanesman, S. & Meir, I. (2007). The sign language of Algerian immigrants in Israel. Paper presented at the workshop Cross-linguistic Research and International Cooperation in Sign Language Linguistics, Nijmegen.
  • Carol Padden, Sign language geography, UC San Diego

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