Is International Sign Considered as a Language? | O Sistema de Gestos Internacional é uma língua?

No próximo dia 18 de junho de 2021, pelas 16h30, decorrerá a aula de encerramento de 2020/2021 do Mestrado em Ensino da Língua Gestual Portuguesa, sob o tema Is International Sign Considered as a Language? | O Sistema de Gestos Internacional é uma língua?, que terá como convidados Ronice Müller de Quadros e Christian Rathmann, docentes universitários e investigadores de renome.

Destinatários | Estudantes do Mestrado em Ensino da Língua Gestual Portuguesa, Estudantes da Licenciatura em Língua Gestual Portuguesa, outros interessados


  • os participantes devem ser fluentes em LGP ou em ISS
  • não haverá tradução para nenhuma língua oral

Mediadores para LGP

Amílcar Furtado
Amílcar Morais


Sessão de acesso livre.  (NOTA: os participantes devem ser fluentes em LGP ou em ISS. Não haverá tradução para nenhuma língua oral)

Inscrição com certificado | 5 euros


Acesso à sessão

Link de acesso |



Versão em ISS |

Versão em inglês | International Sign Language (ISL): a non-local language shared by deaf sign language users

This paper investigates properties of International Sign and proposes that International Sign is a bona fide language that is shared by deaf sign language users globally.
Interviews were conducted with twenty deaf sign language users from different continents, and then the interviews were transcribed and analyzed. The interviews had two main foci: the current status and use of their national sign language and the status and use of International Sign.
The data analysis had two parts:
(1) linguistic aspects of utterances signed by interviewees (including the lexicon, prosody, morphosyntactic properties and text structure), and
(2) sociolinguistic aspects with regard to linguistic practices.

There were four findings. First, the use of International Sign in utterances during interviews is systematically structured at all linguistic levels, suggesting that the conventionalization of International Sign has advanced to the status of a language (see e.g. Webb and Supalla 1995). Second, almost all interviewees acknowledge the existence of International Sign as an established language.
Some of them, however, reproduce some institutionalized discourse by pointing out that International Sign is not a language per se since it does not meet the necessary criteria for a language (e.g. Hockett
1960), as opposed to their national sign languages. This kind of institutionalized discourse reflects the discourse of non-recognition of International Sign as a language in international organizations and
scholarly research. Third, the conventionalization process has been triggered by three factors:
(i) technological advancements,
(ii) mobilization and
(iii) public online events.
Fourth, International Sign Language exhibits rich variation, a sociolinguistic phenomenon arising from extensive language contact in rich multilingual and multimodal settings.
In closing, the paper discusses the implications of these findings for understanding the concept of sociolinguistic globalization (Blommaert 2010).

Blommaert, J. (2010). The sociolinguistics of globalization. Cambridge University Press.
Hockett, Charles F. (1960) The Origin of Speech, Scientific American 203, 88–111 Reprinted in: Wang, William S-Y. (1982) Human Communication: Language and Its Psychobiological Bases, Scientific American pp. 4–12
Supalla, T., & Webb, R. (1995). The grammar of International Sign: A new look at pidgin languages. Language, gesture, and space, 333-352.


Oradores convidados/Guest Speakers

Ronice Müller de Quadros is full professor at the Federal University of Santa Catarina since 2002. PhD in Linguistics. Prof. Quadros had a research on bimodal bilingual acquisition (Connecticut University/NIH) 2005-2009; on bimodal bilingual languages at Harvard University (CNPQ) 2015-2016; and she is currently conducting a research on code-blending languages (NSF) 2018-2021, and Documentation of Brazilian Sign Language (CNPQ) 2018-2022. She is visitor professor conducting research on sign language grammar in Humboldt University, at Berlin (CNPQ and Humboldt.


Christian Rathmann is full professor and head in the Department for Deaf Studies and Sign Language Interpreting at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. His research areas/projects cover sign language structure (agreement, classifier constructions, aspect and event structure), Deaf Studies (with focus on language rights, language attitude and peer counselling), L1 & L2 learning, teaching and assessment, unimodal/bimodal multilingualism as well as sign language interpreting (interaction management, interpreting & translation strategies). Moreover, he has been engaging in language planning activities, most notably in both areas: corpus planning and acquisition planning.