Sign Language: Japan

Japanese Sign Language (JSL), Nihon Shuwa in Japanese, is the language used by Japanese Deaf people and is the distinctive and full-fledged signed language of Japan. JSL also has its own fingerspelling system. In Japanese written language, there are four kinds of writing systems: Kanji (Chinese Characters); Hiragana; Katakana; and Roman alphabets. These systems are all used in combination.

The Chinese characters convey the substantive event and Hiragana is used mainly to show grammatical statuses when used at the same time in one sentence. JSL’s system resembles the writing system in this way. JSL manual signs show the substantive event and nonmanual markers show the grammatical statuses of the signs.

Some distinct features of JSL are different from ASL and the other European sign languages. This ...

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