Villages where everyone uses signed language

There are some village sign languages around the world; though, they are underdocumented. A variation of the terms other than village sign language are also known as "indigenous" sign languages, rural sign languages, shared sign languages, etc. Here is some compiled list from sources.

Adamorobe Sign Language (AsaSL), village of Adamorobe in Ghana (Nyst, 2007).

Algerian Jewish Sign Language (AJSL) in isolated Jewish communities in the region of Algeria. (Lanesman and Meir, 2010, 2012).

Alipur Sign Language, village of Alipur in the southern Indian state of Karnataka (Panda, 2010, 2012).

Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language (ABSL). (Meir, et al. 2007)

Ban Khor Sign Language, Ban Khor village in northeastern Thailand (Blench, 2012).

Bura Sign Language, Kukurpu village in northeast Nigeria (Blench, 2012).

Insuit Sign Language (IUR), Inuit communities from Greenland to Alaska (Schuit, 2009).

Kajana Sign Language (Kajana Gebarentaal) is a village sign language of Suriname. It is spoken in Kajana, a village of just three families. (Nordhoff, et al. 2013)

Konchri Sain (JKS) in Jamaica (Dolman, 1986).

Mardin Sign Language, the town of Mardin in southeastern Turkey and some locations (Dikyuva, 2008, 2012).

Kata Kolok, villages of North Bali (Marsaja, 2008).

Providence Island Sign Language (PROVISL), Providence island, Columbia (Washabaugh, 1979, 1980, 1986).

Urubu Kaapor Sign Language, Urubu village in northeast Brazil (Kakumasu, 1968; Ferreiro-Brito, 1983, 1984).

Yucatec Mayan Sign Language (MYSL), Mayan villages in Mexico (Johnson, 1991; Fox Tree, 2009; Le Guen, 2011).


Bauser, Anastasia. The Use of Signing Space in a Shared Sign Language of Australia. Published by Walter de Gruyter GmbH and Co KG.

This Bauser's book includes information on alternate sign languages that are different from full-fledged sign languages used by Deaf people. Alternate sign languages are used when hearing people use under different circumstances, such as: monastic sign languages, Sawmill Sign Language (among workers in a nosiy environment), Plains Indian Sign Language among Indian tribes, and so on.

Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Kajana Sign Language". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Related posts: sign languages around the world used and developed full-fledged by Deaf people.

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