Linked Languages Resources

A contribution to the Web of Data
by Bernard Vatant, Mondeca

American Sign Language


Search languages

Powered by Freebase

Complete list of languages This page in other languages : [fr]

American Sign Language (ASL) is the predominant sign language of deaf communities in the United States and English-speaking parts of Canada. Besides North America, dialects of ASL and ASL-based creoles are used in many countries around the world, including much of West Africa and parts of Southeast Asia. ASL is also widely learned as a second language, serving as a lingua franca. ASL is most closely related to French Sign Language (FSL), and might be considered an FSL-based creole. Despite the fact that the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia have English as a common oral language, ASL is not mutually intelligible with British Sign Language or with Auslan. ASL originated in the early 19th century in the American School for the Deaf (ASD) in Hartford, Connecticut. Founded by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet in 1817, the school adopted the pedagogical methods of the French Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris, including the use of French Sign Language. The school brought together deaf students with their own home sign or village sign systems, and in this situation of language contact ASL was born. It has been proposed that this was an event of creole genesis, but ASL shows features atypical of creole languages, such as agglutinative morphology. Despite its wide use, no accurate count of ASL users has been taken, though reliable estimates for American ASL users range from 250,000 to 500,000 persons. This includes a number of CODAs (children of deaf adults), who are more likely than deaf children to acquire ASL from birth. ASL users face stigma due to beliefs in the superiority of spoken language to signed language, compounded by the fact that ASL is often glossed in English due to the lack of a standard writing system. CODAs may be mistakenly labeled as slow learners rather than being recognized as bilinguals. ASL signs have a number of phonemic components, including handshape, orientation, location, and movement. In addition, non-manual features can be phonemic, including movement of face and torso. Although iconicity does play a role in the language, ASL is not a form of pantomime, and there is evidence from language acquisition that iconic signs are processed similarly to non-iconic signs. ASL grammar is completely unrelated to that of English, although English loan words are often borrowed through fingerspelling. ASL has a Subject–Object–Verb (SOV) word order with verbal agreement and aspectual marking, and has a productive system of forming agglutinative classifiers.
Source : DBpedia

Names (more)

[ca] Llengua de signes americana
[da] ASL
[de] American Sign Language
[en] American Sign Language
[eo] Usona signolingvo
[fi] Amerikkalainen viittomakieli
[fr] Langue des signes américaine
[hr] Američki znakovni jezik
[ja] アメリカ手話
[ko] 미국 수화
[nl] Amerikaanse Gebarentaal
[no] Amerikansk tegnspråk
[pt] Língua de sinais americana
[ru] Амслен
[es] Lengua de signos americana
[sv] ASL
[zh] 美國手語

Language type : Living

Language resources for American Sign Language

Open Languages Archives

Wiktionary - Category:American Sign Language [en]

Omniglot encyclopedia [en]

Technical notes

This page is providing structured data for the language American Sign Language.
Following BCP 47 the recommended tag for this language is ase.

This page is marked up using RDFa,, and other linked open vocabularies. The raw RDF data can be extracted using the W3C RDFa Distiller.

Freebase search uses the Freebase API, based on ISO 639-3 codes shared by Freebase language records.

ISO 639 Codes

ISO 639-3 : ase

Linked Data URIs

More URIs at


Authority documentation for ISO 639 identifier: ase

Freebase ISO 639-3 : ase Country Information

Publications Office of the European Union
Metadata Registry : Countries and Languages