Sign Languages in the Arab World

Autor/a: AL-FITYANI, Kinda, & PADDEN, Carol
Año: 2010
Editorial: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


Every evening, the Al Jazeera satellite channel features a one-hour, comprehensive newscast of world events. Superimposed in the corner of the television screen is a box containing a sign language interpreter who translates the spoken Arabic of the newscaster. The interpreter is one of a team of Jordanian Sign Language (LIU) interpreters who regularly interpret the newscast. However, the sign language they use is not strictly LIU. Heavily influenced by LIU, it is a newly devised sign language which uses vocabulary drawn from different Arab sign languages, including Egyptian Sign Language and Saudi Sign Language. The vocabulary was compiled in a dictionary by the Council of Arab Ministers of Social Affairs (CAMSA), a committee within the League of Arab States (LAS).

The effort by CAMSA to encourage a standard pan-Arab Sign Language (ArSL) has been met with wide resistance, in large part because deaf viewers say they cannot understand the language. In this paper, we describe the geography of sign languages in Arab countries. As we explain, there already exists a number of sign languages used by Arab deaf communities. Some are designated as nation-state sign languages and are used in the instruction of deaf students in their educational systems. The adoption of ArSL by Arab countries potentially threatens the future of these nation-state sign languages as well as an unknown number of smaller sign languages existing within this region.

En: D. Brentari (Ed.), Sign Languages: A Cambridge Language Survey, pp. 433–450.