Bolivian Sign Language

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A language of Bolivia

Population

350 to 400 (1988 E. Powlison).

Location

Cochabamba, La Paz, Riberalta, Santa Cruz.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).

Dialects

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.