Konchri Sain


A language of Jamaica

Alternate Names
Country Sign, Jamaican Country Sign Language, KS

40 (Parks et al 2011b), decreasing. Approximately 40 deaf L1 users, number of hearing L1 users is unknown. 4 monolinguals (2016 B. Gayle).


Primarily in St. Elizabeth Parish, near Top Hill.

Language Status

8a (Moribund).


None known. Most of the Jamaican deaf community does not understand Konchri Sain.

Language Use

Formerly used by everyone in the area, deaf and hearing (Adone et al 2012, Cumberbatch 2012b). In the mid-1980s (Dolman 1986) there were about 200 deaf, and only 10 who were bilingual in KS and Jamaican Sign Language [jls]. Older adults only. Also use Jamaican Creole English [jam], especially hearing people (Cumberbatch 2012b). Also use Jamaican Sign Language [jls], especially middle-aged people (Cumberbatch 2012b). Used as L2 by Jamaican Sign Language [jls].

Language Development

English literacy is very low because many adults have had no formal education.


Unwritten documents [Zxxx].

Other Comments

The word ‘Konchri’ or ‘Country’ in names for this language means ‘rural’; it does not refer to the whole of Jamaica, the deaf of which use Jamaican Sign Language [jls] (2016 K. Cumberbatch). Starting in the 1970s, younger deaf have learned Jamaican Sign Language [jls] at Maranatha School for the Deaf in Ridge (St. Elizabeth Parish), where use of KS is discouraged (Cumberbatch 2012b). Deaf people from St. Elizabeth Parish often move to the larger cities for easier access to employment.

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