Bolivian Sign Language


A language of Bolivia


350–400 (1988 E. Powlison).


Cochabamba, La Paz, and Santa Cruz departments; El Beni Department, Riberalta municipality.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Based on American Sign Language [ase] with necessary changes for borrowed Spanish lexical items. Some groups in La Paz and Santa Cruz use the same signs with some dialect signs from their own areas. There is evidence that Bolivian Sign Language is no more divergent from ASL [ase] than some dialects of ASL (Morgan 2004).

Other Comments

Originated by missionaries. Other deaf schools use only the oralist approach.