Portuguese Sign Language


A language of Portugal

Alternate Names
LGP, Lingua Gestual Portuguesa

60,000 (2013 European Union of the Deaf).


Widespread, including Azores and Madeira islands.

Language Status

5 (Developing).


Lisbon, Oporto. Older signers attended separate schools for boys and girls in Lisbon and Oporto, resulting in some variation by gender and region. (Van Cleve 1986) These differences have largely disappeared in younger signers. No apparent relationship to Spanish sign language, based on a lexical comparison of non-iconic signs. (Eberle and Eberle 2012).

Language Use

All domains. All ages. While Portuguese Sign Language is the primary language of communication for most deaf people, widely varying degrees of bilingualism (spoken and written) in Portuguese [por] are common.

Language Development
Portuguese [por] literacy is valued for access to mainstream society and employment. Dictionary.
Other Comments

Historically related to Swedish Sign Language [swl]. (Van Cleve 1986).