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Sign Language: Southern Asia

  • By: Michael W. Morgan, E. Mara Green & Upendra Khanal
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Southern Asia is a geographical area that contains eight countries, each of which has a national sign language (listed as follows, with common abbreviation if any). These languages differ to greater or lesser extent among themselves; some also show considerable intralinguistic variation:

  • Afghanistan: Afghan Sign Language (AFSL)
  • Bangladesh: Bangla Sign Language
  • Bhutan: Bhutanese Sign Language
  • India: Indian Sign Language (ISL)
  • Maldives: Maldivian Sign Language (MvSL)
  • Nepal: Nepali Sign Language (NSL)
  • Pakistan: Pakistan Sign Language (PSL)
  • Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan Sign Language (SLSL)

In certain cases, the national sign language enjoys widespread use among Deaf people across the country. In other cases, the national sign language may have a more limited range (e.g., the capital or other major city), while other sign languages or dialects are used in other cities. There are also reports of ...

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