Vietnamese Sign Language - Unresolved Issues


Nguyen Thi Kim Thoa
Foreign Trade University


Appearing in Vietnam around 1886, today, Vietnamese Sign Language (VSL) has been a major means of communication in the deaf community in Vietnam. However, VSL has not been unified across regions, has not been officially taught in educational institutions and has not been interested by researchers. The article mainly uses the descriptive method to analyze the linguistic features of VSL in terms of phonetics, vocabulary, and grammar. Besides, the author also uses activities such as collecting documents, analyzing, synthesizing, comparing to make the necessary judgments and conclusions. The article will introduce VSL from the perspective of linguistics with phonological, lexical, and grammatical aspects - through which readers can see the unique characteristics of VSL. It also analyzes the outstanding issues, what needs to be done to move towards a unified VSL, to become the object of research in Linguistics and to be taught officially in the School. Besides, the research directions or the development of sign languages of some countries such as the US, UK... are also mentioned in the article as experiences that Vietnam can learn and absorb.

June 19, 2022
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