Revisiting the shared sign language of Providence Island

The Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) provides grants worldwide to for the linguistic documentation of endangered language and knowledge. Grantees create multimedia collection of endangered languages. These collections are preserved and made freely available through the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) housed at the library of SOAS University of London.

Providence Island Sign Language (PISL) is a sign language indigenous to the island of Providencia in the Colombian department of San Andres, Providencia and San Catalina. PISL is a shared sign language, used by the island’s roughly 20 deaf inhabitants as well as many hearing islanders. Initially described in the 1970s/80s, some 100 years after its first emergence (Woodward, 1987), PISL has since received little follow up research. This project will create a dataset of the shared sign language used on the island which is presently critically endangered by rapidly shifting cultural, linguistic and economic pressures in the archipelago. Primary investigator: Rehana Omardeen

Project Details


Location: Colombia, Cuba, Colombia, Caribbean, South America, Americas Organiser(s): Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Project partner(s): Lloyd Best Institute of the West Indies Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £8,499.00 Commencement Date: 01/2014 Project Status: Active
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