Portuguese Sign Language


A language of Portugal

Alternate Names
LGP, Língua Gestual Portuguesa

52,000 in Portugal (2014 IMB). 60,000 sign language users (2014 EUD). 150,000 deaf (2010 Federação Portuguesa das Associações de Surdos).


Scattered, including Azores and Madeira islands.

Language Status

5 (Developing).


Lisbon, Oporto. Historical influence from Swedish Sign Language [swl]. 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).


One-handed fingerspelling.

Language Use

Used by all. Also use Portuguese [por], with widely varying degrees of bilingualism (spoken and written), and it is valued as a written language for access to mainstream society and employment.

Language Development

Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Agency: Portuguese Federation of Associations of the Deaf (FPAR).


Unwritten documents [Zxxx].

Other Comments

Fingerspelling system shows many differences from other European countries. 100 working sign language interpreters (2014 EUD). Taught as L2 at the university level. Christian.

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