Austrian Sign Language

Austrian Sign Language
Österreichische Gebärdensprache (ÖGS)
Native to Austria, Germany
Native speakers
8,000–10,000 (2014)[1]
French Sign
Language codes
ISO 639-3 asq
Glottolog aust1252[2]

Austrian Sign Language, or Österreichische Gebärdensprache (ÖGS), is the sign language used by the Austrian Deaf community—approximately 10,000 people (see Krausneker 2006).


ÖGS and Hungarian Sign Language seem to be related for historical reasons (First School for the Deaf in Vienna), but forms a cluster with neighboring languages rather than with ÖGS.[3] Although there are no detailed studies of the extent of relatedness, ÖGS shares aspects of its grammar with German Sign Language and Swiss Sign Language, while the vocabulary differs (see Skant et al. 2002); Wittmann (1991) places it in the French Sign Language family).


Linguistic research on ÖGS started in the 1990s and is primarily conducted at the University of Klagenfurt[4] and University of Graz.[5]

After a 15-year effort by the Deaf community, ÖGS was legally recognized by the Austrian Parliament on September 1, 2005.


The Austrian Deaf community is represented by the Austrian Association of the Deaf (the Österreichischer Gehörlosenbund).[6]

There is one nationwide association for professional interpreters of ÖGS.[7]

See also


  1. Austrian Sign Language at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Austrian Sign Language". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Bickford, 2005. The Signed Languages of Eastern Europe
  4. Forschungszentrum für Gebärdensprache und Hörgeschädigtenkommunikation Archived August 9, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. Arbeitsgruppe für Gebärdensprache Archived March 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ÖGLB | Österreichischer Gehörlosenbund
  7. OeGSDV - Oesterreichischer Gebaerdensprach-DolmetscherInnen-Verband

Further reading

External links

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