Chatino Sign Language

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Chatino Sign Language
Native to Mexico
Region Oaxaca
Ethnicity Chatino
Native speakers
11 deaf in San Juan Quiahije (2015 survey)[1]
also used by some hearing people
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Glottolog chat1269[2]

San Juan Quiahije Chatino Sign Language is an emerging village sign language of the indigenous Chatino villages of San Juan Quiahije and Cieneguilla in Oaxaca, Mexico, used by both the deaf and some of the hearing population.[3] It is apparently unrelated to Mexican Sign Language. As of 2014, there is an National Science Foundation-funded study and also a National Institutes of Health-funded study of the development of this language.[4]

Non-signing hearing people in the village use various gestures for negation when speaking, and these are retained in Chatino Sign Language. The variability of these signs may be due to the small size of the deaf population in comparison to the number of hearing people who use them as co-speech gestures.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lynn Hou and Kate Mesh, 2013, Negation in Chatino Sign, Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research Conference 11, University of Texas, Austin
  2. Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Chatino Sign Language". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Erard, Michael (April 17, 2014). "The Discovery of a New Language Can Help Explain How We Communicate". Al Jazeera.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Deaf researcher studies emergence of new signed language in Mexico, The Daily Texan, University of Texas at Austin, 2014 Feb 26.