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Languages > Sign Language (US)
Most Popular Sign Language (US) Language Product Types
Children's Books
Happy Birthday! A Beginners Book of Signs (Board book)
Sign Language - We Sign - Colors
Saying it by Signing: Conversing in American Sign Language (Paperback)
IDRT - Sign-O: An American Sign Language Bingo Game
Signing Everyday Phrases (Paperback)
Software - Windows
Sign Language - 101 Basic Signs
IDRT - Russian Sign Language/American Sign Language Translator
All Sign Language (US) language product types

Language Information

Population 100,000 to 500,000 primary users (1986 Gallaudet U.) out of nearly 2,000,000 profoundly deaf persons in USA (1988), 0.8% of the USA population. 15,000,000 hard of hearing persons in the USA (1989 Sacks). Population total all countries 100,000 to 500,000. Region Also used in varying degrees in Canada, Philippines, Ghana, Nigeria, Chad, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Kenya, Madagascar, Benin, Togo, Zimbabwe, Singapore, China (Hong Kong). Also spoken in Canada, Guatemala. Alternate names ASL, AMESLAN, THE LANGUAGE OF THE DEAF Dialects BLACK AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE, TACTILE SIGN LANGUAGE. Classification Deaf sign language. Comments Black American Sign Language developed in segregated schools in the south. It contains much sign vocabulary not in ASL and some different grammatical structure. Tactile Sign Language is used by over 900 persons in Louisiana who know ASL, but have lost their sight from a generic cause: Usher's Syndrome. They communicate by touch on each other's wrists. Some have migrated to Seattle. Some have learned Braille. ASL has 43% lexical similarity with French Sign Language in an 872-word list. Sign language interpreters provided in court, for college students, at important public events, in job training, at social services programs, in mental health service programs, some instruction for parents of deaf children, many sign language classes for hearing people. There is an organization for sign language teachers. Many hearing people are learning ASL as second language. Reported to be the third largest language in the USA (1993 Honolulu Advertiser). Used since 1817. ASL is different from 'English on the Hands' (Signed English, Siglish). There are several systems of manually coded English, including different ones in different countries. Also several systems called Pidgin Signed English. Pidgin Signed English is taught in schools in the USA rather than ASL. Investigation needed: intelligibility with Black American Sign Language. Dictionary. SOV; prepositions, genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals, relatives before noun heads; question word initial. The average deaf person graduates from high school with 3rd or 4th grade reading level in English. TV, videos. Bible portions 1982-1996.

Sign Language (US) is spoken/used in the following countries:
Canada, Guatemala, United States of America.

Language Family
Family: Sign Language

Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.