Lithuanian Sign Language

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Lithuanian Sign Language
Native toLithuania
Native speakers
8,000 (2014)[1]
influenced by Russian Sign
Language codes
ISO 639-3lls

Lithuanian Sign Language (LGK, Lithuanian: Lietuvių gestų kalba) is the national sign language used in Lithuania, with several regional variants. Very little is known about its history before 1945. From 1945 to 1990 it was used along with Russian Sign Language and the two sign languages became very similar. Russian lip-patterns used with some LGK signs indicate that the sign may have been originally borrowed from Russian Sign Language. When Lithuania became independent, its contacts with Russian Sign Language were almost cut off, and now it's developing as an independent language, with some influence from international signs.

Linguistic research of LGK started in 1996, when it was recognized as the native language of the Deaf. Since then, a Lithuanian Sign Language Dictionary (based on traditional word to sign principle) was published in 5 volumes (including about 3000 signs), along with some thematic vocabularies and bilingual texts in LGK and Lithuanian (including Adam's book). Now work is being done on an LGK database and sign language teaching materials for parents of deaf children, teachers teaching deaf students and sign language interpreters.


  1. ^ Lithuanian Sign Language at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Lithuanian Sign Language". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  • Kupčinskas, Dainora (natively Kupčinskaitė, Dainora), (1999). Issues in standardizing Lithuanian Sign Language, Lituanus 45.1:17–20.