Talk:Yugoslav Sign Language

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Kwani: I disagre with you as it is obvious you are not a sign linguist. If you are a sign linguist, you would not go for abbreviations in English (no one does that anyway i.e. French SL = LSF so on. Can you please give me the abbreviation for Yugoslav SL in Futhermore, the term "Yugoslav Sign Language" does not really exist in sign linguistics - there is nothing written about this apart from an obstacle & tiny entry in Van Cleve's 1987 book (many mistakes were also found in other entries inside the same book) so you cannot base your argument on this book. Can you give me more references that Yugoslav SL is The right to name their own languages are from the respective sign communities i.e. Kosovar Sign Language is agreed upon by Kosovar National Association of the Deaf and users of Kosovar SL. There is very little research on signed languages in Eastern Europe and the Balkans (apart from Turkey - tons of reseasrch there!!!). If we use your argument that HZJ (Croatian SL) is a dialect of Yugoslav SL then you should remove the Auslan entry or the New Zealand Sign Language entry because they are just dialects of British Sign Language or even Israeli Sign Language just because it came from German Sign Language.

Please do not use the abbreviations in English - it has already shown your ignorance on sign linguistics. Be sensitive.

--Belfastshane (talk) 16:19, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Turns out that CSL is just YSL, though with some dialectical variation (as in any country with separately established schools for the deaf). I've therefore moved it to YSL, which I'm sure will raise some hackles; was thinking of Yugoslav (Croatian, Serbian, Slovenian) Sign Language, but I haven't seen much actual usage to guide the decision. Other suggestions are welcome. — kwami (talk) 09:07, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

This move was unacceptable. Controversial moves (without any supporting references no less) need to be discussed. I have provided several references that attest to a Croatian sign language. You have provided one, which is quoting from 1987. I am going to split the articles.--Thewanderer (talk) 15:24, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
You have provided refs that it is called CSL in Croatia (i.e., that you can take a course on hrvatskoga znakovnog jezika in Croatia). You have not provided refs that this is distinct from YSL. I have provided a ref that it is the same SL (mutually intelligible). If you have evidence to the contrary, pls. provide it. I requested refs for this months ago at the linguistics project and never got an answer. I'm happy for this to be at CSL if there is such a thing, or if it's developed enough to be a separate dialect article, which it currently is not. — kwami (talk) 22:51, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
Let's see, Article 3 of the BH bill on the right to SL, which you claim attests to a CSL:
Prema ovome Zakonu, gluha osoba može ostvariti pravo na tumačenje govornog jezika (hrvatskoga, bosanskoga i srpskoga govornog jezika) u znakovni jezik i znakovnog jezika u govorni jezik (hrvatski, bosanski i srpski govorni jezik).
"Pursuant to this Act, a deaf person can qualify for the interpretation of spoken language (Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian spoken language) into sign language and sign language into spoken language (Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian spoken language)."
It would seem from this that there is just one sign language in BH, where if there were more than one we would expect them to overlap. Nowhere does it mention a specifically Croatian SL; in fact, in section 4 of article 19 it says,
Sastav i rukovodstvo Povjerenstva za znakovni jezik trebaju odražavati nacionalnu strukturu u Bosni i Hercegovini.
"The composition and leadership of the Commission for Sign Language should reflect the ethnic structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
(It had just specified there would be one commissioner each from the three nations of BiH.) Why would you need Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs on the Commission for Croatian Sign Language?
Another of your links advertises courses in CSL. Fine: we already know there are minor local distinctions in the YSL used in Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia, just as there are regional variants in ASL, Chinese SL, and other SLs, and the article already covers that. — kwami (talk) 23:22, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
The language laws in BiH are deliberately ambiguous. BiH does not maintain three separate language commissions for spoken languages either, but it still always offers separate translations into each. The same is likely true for signed languages. Regardless, this law certainly doesn't mention YSL, and any claims that it does are highly misleading.--Thewanderer (talk) 16:27, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
We can change it to "SL" if you like. But sign language is in the singular in the law, and the commission represents all three nations. Thus your source supports, if it does not outright state, that there is one SL. My source states that explicitly. So all the evidence is that there is a single language. Since you have given no reason for two articles on the same subject, the question is what name we should put it under. If you think it belongs under HrSL, you might want to say that in the RfM below. — kwami (talk) 21:03, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Some government commission in a dysfunctional country such as BiH is certainly not a definitive source on linguistic issues. There are two separate ISO 639-3 codes, one for YSL and one for HZJ. You have not provided any reliable references that they are the same, and I have no reason to believe as such.--Thewanderer (talk) 22:53, 25 February 2011 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus to move. Vegaswikian (talk) 23:27, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Yugoslav Sign Language?? — Not clean which name would be appropriate. "Yugoslav Sign Language" may (or may not) be obsolete as a name. However, the other names under which it is known, Croatian Sign Language, Slovenian Sign Language, Serbian Sign Language, (and maybe Macedonian Sign Language?) are regional and therefore not appropriate for a general article. Is there a better name? "Ex-Yugoslav SL"? "Yugoslav (Croatian, Serbian, and Slovenian) SL"? — kwami (talk) 23:46, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Keep Ex-Yugoslav doesn't make sense. It doesn't really matter if Yugoslavia exists or not. There are lots of things names after other things that no longer exist. (talk) 05:19, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Keep nonsense--Sokac121 (talk) 13:30, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Keep Yugoslavia may now be only a geographical expression, but it is legitimate in some contexts. PatGallacher (talk) 22:07, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Croatian Sign Language is a recently created WP:content fork. No evidence has been presented that it is a separate language; evidence has been given, but it actually supports the unity of the language. — kwami (talk) 02:17, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Macedonian Sign Language isn't so clear. It certainly seems to fit the description of YSL; however, I can find no attestation of it either as a variant of YSL or as an independent language. — kwami (talk) 13:04, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Against merger.--Sokac121 (talk) 13:35, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Reason? — kwami (talk) 13:54, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Against. Croatian Sign Language has over three times as many Google Hits as Yugoslavian Sign Language, as well as way more hits on Google Books. YSL has no modern academic references that I can find (while HZJ has many), and this whole argument seems to be based on your own original research.--Thewanderer (talk) 15:45, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

GHits may be relevant for naming, but not for a merge discussion. This argument is based on sources, including the ones you provided, which demonstrate that these are a single language. So, do you have an actual reason for not merging? — kwami (talk) 20:59, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
My sources refer to a Croatian Sign Language. Not a single one of them ever refers to a Yugoslav Sign Language. To be frank, I have no idea what you are getting at. You have provided no references to back anything you are claiming.--Thewanderer (talk) 22:32, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Except for the one you already admitted backs up what I'm saying. And now you say your govt source is worthless, so all we have left is my ref. — kwami (talk) 08:14, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

About the Macedonian, there is not even one source about the origin of the Macedonian Sign language so I would suggest not to merge it since we know nothing about the relations btw MK and SH. --MacedonianBoy (talk) 18:57, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. The alphabets (both of them) appear to be the same, but that is not definitive. — kwami (talk) 20:59, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
That does not support anything. So far, there aren't relevant sources that support this thesis. Similarities exist, but MSL is considered as separate one. -- (talk) 21:11, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
There is Macedonian National Association of the Deaf and there is Macedonian Sign Language. kwami does not understand that there is almost no research on signed languages in the Balkans apart from Turkey and Greece. Most literatures on signed languages, if any, are published in their national languages i.e. for Macedonia, the Macedonian language. However I agree with you, MacedonianBoy, that kwami's arguments are not convincing enough as he has no evidence that Macedonia is actually part of Yugoslav Sign Language therefore the entry on Yugoslav SL must be removed until there is evidence that Yugoslav SL is a term currently in use because I haven't seen such a term apart from on this wiki. It makes me wonder if it was even named as a language during Tito's Yugoslavia because there was no sign language research back then. --Belfastshane (talk) 16:28, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
You didn't understand a single thing I said, did you? Also, ignorance is not evidence. — kwami (talk) 00:15, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

I took the liberty, since my article was cited in both this article and the new one on CSL, to clarify what it actually said, and maybe smooth over the issue. This looks like the typical situation that often comes up in dialects that are in the process of separating into distinct languages (often because of political changes, as has happened with Serbo-Croatian). It seems best in an encyclopedia not to take a stand one way or another on this issue, but simply report that different people view the situation different ways. That's what I attempted to do in my edits. I certainly have seen much more published in the linguistic literature under the name "Croatian Sign Language/HZJ" than under the name "Yugoslav Sign Language", especially recently. So, it seems that some sort of article under that name is appropriate, especially to focus in on details particular to that region. Therefore, I support keeping them as separate articles, but including notes in both that the issue of one language vs. many is unsettled. Note that the Ethnologue and ISO 639-3 include both YSL and CSL, but not the other Balkan sign varieties. This is inconsistent, but it is not clear which is the correct course of action, so I have suggested to the Ethnologue editor a temporary solution along the lines of what I suggested here. Clearly, further on-the-ground research is needed. AlbertBickford (talk) 20:31, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, there isn't even a proposal to establish separate Serbian, Kosovar, etc. SLs at Ethn among the hundreds which have been submitted since 2009.
There is also a question of which manual alphabets are distinct, whether there are different one-handed or two-handed alphabets for CSL, YSL, etc. One editor mentioned some diffs on those talk pages, but didn't go into any detail or provide any refs. — kwami (talk) 00:18, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Problem with Infobox (related to inclusion of Croatian Sign Language in this article) Comment Suggestion[edit]

Related to some of the previous discussions about whether to have separate or merged articles on the sign languages of the former Yugoslavia, the current situation (Croatian SL presented as a dialect of Yugoslav Sign Language) leads to a problem with respect to the ISO 639-3 standard (which recognizes Croatian Sign Language as a separate language, but combines the rest as Yugoslavian Sign Language). Because of the way the Infobox works, [ysl] is presented as an "inclusive code". Clicking on that link, one is led to the discussion of macrolanguages in ISO 639-3. But, this is clearly incorrect. Yugoslavian Sign Language is not a macrolanguage in ISO 639-3, and its denotation within the standard does not include Croatian Sign Language. Whether we agree with that classification (which I agree is controversial) is beside the point. The fact is that the standard does things one way, and we have a responsibility to report what that accurately.

Now, this is a problem created in part by the way the infobox template is coded (the phrase "inclusive code" and the link to the article on macrolanguages are supplied by the template). But, lying behind it is the controversy over whether to include Croatian SL as part of Yugoslavian SL. Add to that, lurking behind the scenes, there is a question as to whether other varieties currently considered part of Yugoslavian Sign Language [ysl] should be recognized as separate languages in ISO 639-3--a matter that I suspect will come into the open with formal proposals for changes to ISO 639-3 in future years.

As a way forward, here is what I suggest:

  • Adjust the article so that Croatian Sign Language is not presented as if it is definitely part of Yugoslavian Sign Language, but rather a closely-related language. (In other words, follow the current state of ISO 639-3 for now.) In particular, don't list it as the first alternate name in the lead. Maybe even say "Some scholars feel Croatian SL is a dialect of Yugoslavian SL (and give citations), but it is recognized as a separate language in the ISO 639-3 standard."
  • Discuss the uncertainty as to whether the other varieties are dialects or separate languages, but the degree of variation is comparable among all of them, so that there is an anomaly in ISO 639-3 at the moment.
  • Remove the ISO code for Croatian SL from the infobox.

I'd like @Kwami:, @Thewanderer:, and @MacedonianBoy: to comment on this before we make any changes. AlbertBickford (talk) 16:30, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

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