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From:  Ulrike Zeshan
Date:  Mon Aug 2, 1999  3:26 am
Subject:  Re: Acronyms for Signed Languages

Note that the political border between India and Pakistan is not a language
border or even a dialect border between the sign language varieties on both
sides. Even though there are dialect boundaries, they do certainly not
coincide with the political border between India and Pakistan. In
particular, sign language varieties in Pakistan and (at least)
North-Western India are the same, with more variation in other parts of
India, but probably still at the dialect level. I therefore use the term
IPSL (Indopakistan Sign Language), as Angus has noted before. It may well
turn out that sign language varieties in Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka
are also similar enough to be classified as dialects, but this cannot be
ascertained yet.
Just a general comment about the list: For many countries on the list it is
an open question whether the sign language there is confined to the
political borders or extends over several countries. For example, sign
language in Saudi Arabia seems to be quite similar to sign language
varieties in neighboring Arabic countries (informal observation). So in
this sense all such Acronyms, as far as they are based on political
countries, are preliminary.
Ulrike Zeshan

Ulrike Zeshan
Research Centre for Linguistic Typology
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200

ph. +61-2-62495108
fax +61-2-62490332


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