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Sign Language: Scandinavia

  • By: Kristín Lena Thorvaldsdóttir & Elísa Gudrún Brynjólfsdóttir
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are geographically known as Scandinavia. But historically, politically, culturally, and, to some extent, linguistically, Scandinavia also includes Iceland and Finland and territories associated with all these countries. These countries are also often referred to as the Nordic countries. There is significant intelligibility between some of the Scandinavian spoken languages. There is also some intelligibility between the Scandinavian sign languages, possibly because of the political, historical, and cultural relations among the spoken languages. It has also to do with Deaf culture and Deaf education; the language contact between the Scandinavian sign languages has mainly occurred through Deaf education.

Danish Sign Language is not officially recognized as a minority language in Denmark. Deaf signers of Danish Sign Language number about 5,000. The first teacher ...

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