Algerian Jewish Sign Language

Algerian Jewish Sign Language
Ghardaia Sign Language
Native to Israel, possibly France
Native speakers
moribund (2012)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Glottolog ghar1240[2]

Algerian Jewish Sign Language (AJSL), also known as Ghardaia Sign Language, is a moribund village sign language originally of Ghardaïa, Algeria that is now used in Israel and possibly also in France.[1][3]

The Jewish community of Ghardaïa emigrated to France and Israel during the years 1943 to 1962.[3] However, because deaf Algerian Jews tended to marry deaf Israelis from other backgrounds, they adopted Israeli Sign Language (ISL) as their primary language. AJSL is therefore moribund, being used primarily for interaction between deaf immigrants and their hearing siblings and parents. It is thus hearing people who are preserving its use.

Little is known about its use in France.


  1. 1 2 Lanesman, Sara; Meir, Irit (2012). Zeshan, Ulrike; de Vos, Connie, eds. Sign languages in village communities: Anthropological and linguistic insights. The survival of Algerian Jewish Sign Language alongside Israeli Sign Language in Israel. Berlin and Nijmegen: de Gruyter Mouton and Ishara Press. pp. 153–179.
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Ghardaia Sign Language". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. 1 2 Lanesman, Sara (2016). Algerian Jewish Sign Language: Its emergence and survival. Lancaster UK: Ishara Press.

External links

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