World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Providence Island Sign Language

Article Id: WHEBN0002836384
Reproduction Date:

Title: Providence Island Sign Language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Sign language, Ka'apor Sign Language, Languages of Colombia, Village sign language, Polish manual alphabet
Collection: Languages of Colombia, Village Sign Languages
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Providence Island Sign Language

Providence Island Sign Language
Native to Colombia
Region Providence Island
Native speakers
19 deaf  (1986)[1]
Known by the majority of the 2,500–3,000 population
Language codes
ISO 639-3 prz
Glottolog prov1243[2]

Providence Island Sign Language (also known as "Providencia Sign Language") is a village sign language of the small island community of Providence Island in the Western Caribbean, off the coast of Nicaragua but belonging to Colombia. The island is about 15 square miles (39 km2) and the total population is about 5000, of which an unusual proportion are deaf (5 in 1,000).[3]

It is believed that the sign language emerged in the late 19th or early 20th century. Brief sociological studies have suggested that deaf people on the island are regarded as inferior in mental ability; hearing people do not discuss complex ideas with them, and they hold a marginalized social position. Perhaps consequently, PISL is rather simplistic in comparison to other sign languages. Another possibility for the state of the language is that few deaf people communicate directly, meaning that almost all signing is mediated by the hearing population.[4]

External links


  • Woodward, James. Attitudes toward deaf people on Providence Island, Journal article in: Sign Language Studies 7:18 (1978), pp. 49–68
  • Woodward, James. Sign languages — Providence Island, in Gallaudet encyclopedia of deaf people and deafness. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1987., vol.3, pp. 103–104.
  • Washabaugh, William; Woodward,James; DeSantis, Susan (1978): "Providence Island Sign: A Context-Dependent Language". In: Anthropological Linguistics, vol. 20, 95-109.
  1. ^ Providence Island Sign Language at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Providencia Sign Language". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Lattig MC, Gelvez N, Plaza SL, Tamayo G, Uribe JI, Salvatierra I, Bernal JE, Tamayo ML (2008). "Deafness on the island of Providencia - Colombia: different etiology, different genetic counseling.". Genetic Counseling 19 (4): 403–12.  
  4. ^ Meir, Sandler, Padden, & Aronoff, (to appear). "Emerging sign languages." In Marschark & Spencer, eds., Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies, Language, and Education.

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.