Rennellese Sign Language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rennellese Sign Language
Native to Solomon Islands
Extinct ca. 2000
Language codes
ISO 639-3 rsi
Glottolog renn1236[1]

Rennellese Sign Language is the extinct village sign language of Rennell Island, which has a high degree of congenital deafness. It was developed about 1915 by a deaf person named Kagobai, and was also used by hearing people in the community.


Wittmann (1991)[2] posits that RSL is a language isolate (a 'prototype' sign language), though one developed through stimulus diffusion from an existing sign language.


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Rennellese Sign Language". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ Wittmann, Henri (1991). "Classification linguistique des langues signées non vocalement." Revue québécoise de linguistique théorique et appliquée 10:1.215–88.[1]