Mongolian Sign Language

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Mongolian Sign Language
Native to Mongolia
Russian Sign Language?[1]
  • Mongolian Sign Language
Language codes
ISO 639-3 msr
Glottolog mong1264[1]

Mongolian Sign Language (Mongolian: Монгол дохионы хэл, Mongol dokhiony khel) is a sign language used in Mongolia. Ethnologue estimates that there were between 10,000 and 147,000 deaf people in Mongolia as of 1998; however, it is not known how many of those are users of MSL.[2] Mongolian Sign Language is widely spoken in areas where Mongolian diaspora have immigrated. Such locations include California, Houston, and Charleston.

A school for the deaf was established in Mongolia in 1964 by the occupying Soviet Union. This resulted in many similarities between MSL and Russian Sign Language (RSL) for a time, but the two languages have since developed to be separate and distinct.[3]

Linda Ball, a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia, is believed to have created the first dictionary of MSL in 1995.[4] In 2007, another MSL dictionary with 3,000 entries was published by Mongolia's Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science with assistance from UNESCO.[5]


  1. ^ a b Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Mongolian Sign Language". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Mongolian Sign Language at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Geer, Leah (2011). "Kinship in Mongolian Sign Language". Sign Language Studies. 11 (4): 594–605. doi:10.1353/sls.2011.0007. ISSN 1533-6263.
  4. ^ Peace Corps Times 1995, p. 6
  5. ^ Torigoe 2008, p. 286


  • "Now That's a Good Sign!" (PDF), Peace Corps Times (1), January 1995
  • Torigoe, Takashi (April 2008), モンゴルのろう教育・現地調査報告, 『途上国における特別支援教育開発の国際協力に関する研究』 [Deaf education in Mongolia: Report of fieldwork] (PDF), 科学研究費補助金研究成果報告書, pp. 285–305

Further reading

  • U. Badnaa; Linda Ball (1995), Монголын Дохионы Хелний Толь, OCLC 37604349
  • Baljinnyam, N. 2007. A study of the developing Mongolian Sign Language. Master’s thesis, Mongolian State University of Education, Ulaanbaatar.
  • Geer, L. (2011). Kinship in Mongolian Sign Language. Sign Language Studies 11(4):594–605.
  • Geer, Leah. 2012. Sources of Variation in Mongolian Sign Language. Texas Linguistics Forum 55:33-42. (Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Symposium About Language and Society—Austin) Online version

External links

  • Homepage of Yümjiriin Mönkh-Amgalan at the National University of Mongolia, with a listing of his Mongolian-language papers about MSL

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