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Sign Language: South America

  • By: Ana Regina e Souza Campello & Ronice Müller de Quadros
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Sign languages in South America were part of the colonization process and political processes related to dictatorship and revolution of each country. There are different influences in how each country established its own sign language. In this entry, a brief historical overview of Uruguay and Brazil is presented—two countries that have different colonizers, Spain and Portugal, respectively, but both have military dictatorships and changed to more democratic views. However, it is a surprise that in both countries, neither of the main colonizers had brought their own sign languages to instruct deaf children. In Uruguay, there are no references pointing to specific influence in its sign language. It seems that Uruguay Sign Language (LSU) is a Uruguayan sign language by itself, in which the Deaf community ...

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