Argentine Sign Language

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A language of Argentina

Alternate Names
LSA, Lengua de Señas Argentina
Population

60,000 (Caceres 2017).

Location

Scattered. More than 50% in large cities (Massone 1995).

Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Córdoba Sign Language, LSA puro, LSA. Some regional variation (e.g. between Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Mendoza), but most deaf people minimize the differences and strongly identify with one national sign language (2013 R. Caceres). Also variation by generation: an older variety called LSA Puro, which prefers OSV as its neutral word order, and a younger variety, called simply LSA, which is influenced by Spanish and prefers SVO (Caceres 2017). LSA Puro tends to be used primarily by people born before about 1955, although choice of dialect is also influenced by location, educational background, and language contact (2017 R. Caceres).

Typology

OSV (older variety), SVO (younger variety).

Language Use

Vigorous. All ages. A few also use Spanish [spa]. Most Deaf are monolingual in LSA, having basic familiarity with Spanish but functionally illiterate (Massone 1995).

Language Development
Videos. Dictionary. Agency: Confederación Argentina de Sordos (CAS).
Other Comments

Deaf schools began in 1885. Historical relationship to Italian Sign Language [ise] (Zeshan et al 2013). 37 Deaf schools, some of which use LSA in class. Sign language stories and drama on film. A committee for a national sign language, and organizations for sign language teachers and interpreters.

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