Harman Patil

Arab sign language family

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Geographic distribution:  Mideast, North Africa
Glottolog:  arab1398
Linguistic classification:  One of the world's sign language families
Subdivisions:  Levantine Sign Iraqi Sign Yemeni Sign Kuwaiti Sign Egyptian Sign Libyan Sign (likely others)

The Arab sign-language family is a family of sign languages spread across the Arab Mideast. Its extent is not yet known, because only some of the sign languages in the region have been compared.

A project for a single Arabic Sign Language is underway, with much of the vocabulary voted on by regional Deaf associations. However, so far only a dictionary has been compiled; grammar has not been addressed, so the result cannot be considered a language.

Among the national sign languages which may be related are the following:

  • Levantine Arabic Sign Language
  • Iraqi Sign Language
  • Yemeni Sign Language
  • Egyptian Sign Language
  • Libyan Sign Language
  • Kuwaiti Sign Language
  •  ?Saudi Sign Language
  •  ?Qatari Sign Language
  •  ?Emirati Sign Language
  •  ?Omani Sign Language
  • Other languages of the region appear to not be related. Moroccan Sign Language derives from American Sign Language, and Tunisian Sign Language from Italian Sign Language. There are numerous local Sudanese sign languages which are not even related to each other, and there are many other Arab village sign languages in the region, such as Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language and Ghardaia Sign Language, which are not related to the national languages.


    Arab sign-language family Wikipedia

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