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SIL Electronic Survey Reports 2005-026

The signed languages of Eastern Europe

Author  Bickford, J. Albert

This study provides an overview of the signed languages in Eastern Europe, including both the western republics of the former Soviet Union and the satellite nations that were under its control, bringing together in one place information in widely-scattered published materials as well as adding new information based on a field survey of these languages. In particular, on the basis of wordlist comparisons, it appears that most countries in this region have distinct signed languages, with the possible exception of Russian, Ukraine, and Moldova. Signed languages in countries that were part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, though still quite distinct, show somewhat greater similarity to each other than is found between other countries. The limitations of the current survey are discussed along with suggestions for more focused work to further explore the sociolinguistic situation of these languages.

  The signed languages of Eastern Europe
Published  2005
Subjects  Language surveys
Sign languages
Keywords  Language surveys; Sign languages