Nigerian Sign Language


A language of Nigeria

Alternate Names


Language Status

5 (Developing).


Western NSL (Lagos), Southern/southeastern NSL (Imo state). Related to American Sign Language (ASL) [ase] and Ghanaian Sign Language [gse]. Influence from spoken English [eng]. Incorporates many local and regional signs, enough that Nigerian Sign Language is now distinct from ASL (2015 E. Asonye). Incorporation of regional signs results in significant dialect differences between western Nigeria (Lagos and vicinity) vs. southern/southeastern regions, such as three deaf schools in Imo state (2015 E. Asonye).

Language Use

Used by all.

Language Development

Taught in primary and secondary schools. Bible portions: 2014.


Unwritten documents [Zxxx].

Other Comments

Originated in 1960, developing out of deaf schools established by Deaf American educator Andrew Foster. Some classes in NSL for parents of deaf children (2015 E. Asonye).

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