Italian Sign Language


A language of Italy

Alternate Names
Lingua Italiana Dei Segni, LIS

40,000 deaf sign language users. (2013 European Union of the Deaf) 70,000 profoundly deaf people, including 9,000 school age. (Van Cleve 1986).


Widespread, including Sardinia and Sicily.

Language Status

5 (Developing).


Some variation between northern, central, and southern regions -needs more assessment. Deaf Italians report that communication between signers from different regions requires negotiation. Opinions differ as to whether the variation is desirable or should be standardized (2013 D. Eberle and S. Eberle).

Language Use

300 working sign language interpreters. All domains. All ages. While Italian Sign Language is considered the primary language of communication for most deaf people, widely varying degrees of bilingualism (spoken and written) in Italian [ita] are common (2013 D. Eberle and S. Eberle).

Language Development
Classes in LIS for hearing people. Videos. Dictionary.
Other Comments

Recognized language in Sicily.