Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language


Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language

Infobox Language
name=Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language
states=Israel
region=Negev
familycolor=sign language
signers=150 deaf signers, many more hearing signers
notice=nonotice
The Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language (ABSL) is a sign language used by about 150 deaf and many hearing members of the al-Sayyid Bedouin tribe in the Negev desert of southern Israel. As both deaf and hearing people share a language, deaf people are not stigmatised in this community, and marriage between deaf and hearing people is common.

The Al-Sayyid community (as of 2004) numbers around 3,000 in total, most of whom trace their ancestry back to the time the village was founded, in the mid 1800s, by a local woman and an Egyptian man. Two of this founding couple's five sons carried a gene for nonsyndromic, genetically recessive, profound pre-lingual neurosensory deafness. The descendants of the founding couple often married their cousins due to the tribe's rejection by its neighbours for being "foreign fellahin". [ [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=434665 One in Twenty] Haaretz, 2 June 2004] This meant that the gene became homozygous in several members of the family.

ABSL came to worldwide attention in February 2005 when an international group of researchers published a study of the language in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The spontaneous emergence of the language in the last 70 years, which has developed a complex grammar without influence from any other language, is of particular interest to linguists for the insights it provides into the birth of human language.

ABSL shows a preference for Subject Object Verb word order (e.g. "WOMAN CHILD FEED"), in marked contrast to the dialect of Arabic spoken by hearing members of the community (SVO), as well as Hebrew (SVO), classical Arabic (VSO), and the predominant sign languages in the region, Israeli Sign Language and Jordanian Sign Language. The authors of the study see ABSL as evidence for the human tendency to construct communication along grammatical lines.

Authors of the study (Mark Aronoff from State University of New York at Stony Brook, Irit Meir and Wendy Sandler from the University of Haifa and Carol Padden from the University of California, San Diego) also remarked on the speed with which a grammar emerged, with the SOV word-order emerging with the first generation of signers, as well as the language's continuing rapid development — the third generation is signing twice as fast as the first and is using longer sentences.

Because many of the younger generation are now exposed to Israeli Sign Language and Jordanian Sign Language in school, and marriage outside the community is growing, it is unclear whether ABSL will survive.

ee also

*Adamorobe Sign Language
* Nicaraguan Sign Language (ISN), another language which emerged in recent years which has excited linguists outside the specialised field of sign language research. However, ABSL is considered to reflect a more natural emergence of a language from a stable community, unlike ISN which evolved in a school setting.
* Language acquisition device

References

External links

* [http://sandlersignlab.haifa.ac.il/html/html_eng/al_sayyid.html Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language] Sign Language Research Laboratory, University of Haifa
*Sandler W, Meir I, Padden C, Aronoff M. (2005) " [http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0405448102v1?ct The emergence of grammar: systematic structure in a new language] ", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language — noun A sign language used by some of the Bedouin of …   Wiktionary

  • Sign language — Two men and a woman signing. A sign language (also signed language) is a language which, instead of acoustically conveyed sound patterns, uses visually transmitted sign patterns (manual communication, body language) to convey meaning… …   Wikipedia

  • Martha's Vineyard Sign Language — MVSL Signed in formerly in the United States Region Martha s Vineyard, Massachusetts Extinct with the death of Katie West (1952) …   Wikipedia

  • Israeli Sign Language — language name=Israeli Sign Language, Shassi nativename=שפת הסימנים הישראלית śfàt ha simaním ha iśraelít שס י shássi [abbr.] states=Israel signers=10,000 (approximately) family=descendant of German Sign Language iso3=isrIsraeli Sign Language, or… …   Wikipedia

  • Indian Sign Language — language name=Indian Sign Language states=India, Pakistan region=Regional dialects signers=Unknown fam1=Related to Nepalese Sign Language and possibly other sign languages of the region iso2=sgn iso3=insIndian Sign Language (ISL) or Indo… …   Wikipedia

  • Urubú Sign Language — language name=Urubú Sign Language states=Brazil region=Maranhão signers=7 deaf signers and about 500 hearing signers family=unknown iso2=sgn BR MA|iso3=uksUrubú Sign Language (also known as Urubú Kaapor Sign Language ) is a sign language used by… …   Wikipedia

  • Nicaraguan Sign Language — Idioma de Señas de Nicaragua, ISN Signed in Nicaragua Region The Managua region, but spreading throughout the country Native signers 3,000 (estimated in 1997; no official census da …   Wikipedia

  • Al-Sayyid — is also the Arabic name for El Cid. Infobox Kibbutz pushpin pushpin mapsize= latd=31 |latm=17 |lats=04 |latNS=N longd=34 |longm=54 |longs=58 |longEW=E name= al Sayyid caption= imgsize= caption3= imgsize3= hebname=Hebrew|א סייד arname= السيد… …   Wikipedia

  • al-Sayyid — is also the Arabic name for El Cid. al Sayyid Hebrew א סייד Arabic …   Wikipedia

  • List of sign languages — There are perhaps around two hundred sign languages in use around the world today. The number is not known with any confidence; new sign languages emerge frequently through creolization and de novo (and occasionally through language planning). In …   Wikipedia