Moroccan Sign Language

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Moroccan Sign Language
Native to Morocco
Region Tetouan
Native speakers
63,000  (2008)[1]
French Sign
Language codes
ISO 639-3 xms
Glottolog moro1242[2]

Moroccan Sign Language (MSL) is the language of the deaf community of Tetouan and some other cities of Morocco.

Moroccan Sign Language was created by American Peace Corps volunteers in Tetouan c. 1987, from American Sign Language (ASL) and existing signs; there is less than a 50% lexical similarity with ASL. It is not clear if the 'existing signs' were home sign or an established village sign language. The language is used in three programs for the deaf, but not throughout the country: It is not used in the large cities of Rabat, Tangier, or Casa Blanca, for example. In Oujda, near the Algerian border, Algerian Sign Language is used, or at least the local sign language has been strongly influenced by it.[1]


  1. ^ a b Moroccan Sign Language at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Moroccan Sign Language". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.