World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Icelandic Sign Language

Article Id: WHEBN0002102172
Reproduction Date:

Title: Icelandic Sign Language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Danish Sign Language, Icelandic language, French Sign Language family, Sign language, Danish Sign Language family
Collection: Danish Sign Language Family, Icelandic Culture, Languages of Iceland
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Icelandic Sign Language

Icelandic Sign Language
Íslenskt Táknmál
Native to Iceland
Native speakers
(no estimate available)
French Sign
Language codes
ISO 639-3 icl
Glottolog icel1236[1]

The Icelandic sign language (íslenskt táknmál) is the sign language of the deaf community in Iceland. It is based on the Danish Sign Language; until 1910, deaf Icelandic people were sent to school in Denmark, but the languages have diverged since then. It is officially recognized by the state and regulated by a national committee.

Icelandic Sign Language is distinct from spoken Icelandic; in 1999, the Icelandic Ministry of Education stated that, in the Icelandic basic curriculum, Icelandic Sign Language is the first language of deaf people, while spoken Icelandic is a second language. Therefore, deaf Icelanders should learn Icelandic Sign Language as their first language and Icelandic as their second language.

Táknmál is the Icelandic language word meaning "Sign Language." It is related to the equivalent Norwegian word Teiknspråk/Tegnspråk, the Swedish word Teckenspråk, and the Danish word Tegnsprog.

For more information on the recognition of Icelandic Sign Language and the comparison with other countries, see Legal recognition of sign languages.

A lexical comparison of signs from Icelandic Sign Language with their counterparts in Danish Sign Language was undertaken (Aldersson 2006) to try to determine the degree of current lexical similarity. It was found that whilst the two sign languages are certainly related, 37% of signs analysed were completely different in structure and a further 16%, whilst similar, still contrasted in one of the four parameters of hand-configuaration, location, movement or orientation.

See also

External links

  • (Icelandic) Félag heyrnarlausra.
  • (English) Icelandic Association of the Deaf.


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Icelandic Sign Language". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 

Sign Language Studies | October 1, 2008 | Aldersson, Russell R; McEntee-Atalianis, Lisa J | 700+ words

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.