Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language


A language of Israel

Alternate Names

140 (Sandler et al. 2005). L2 users: Also used by many of the 3,500 hearing people in the village; Members of the community generally recognize ABSL as L2 of the village.


HaDarom (Negev) District, Al-Sayyid village.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


None known. Those who have any familiarity with Israeli Sign Language (ISL) [isr], including those who have attended schools for the deaf outside the village, recognize that the two sign languages are distinct. ISL signers outside the village do not understand ABSL. ABSL signers do not understand Jordanian Sign Language [jos] used on Jordanian television programs received in the area.

Language Use

Siblings and children of deaf individuals, and other members of a household (which may include several wives and their children) often become fluent signers. Hearing people there routinely assess their own proficiency, praising those with greater facility in the language. Positive attitudes.