Accepted paper:

Sign Language Issues in Kyrgyzstan


Feruza Shermatova

Paper abstract:

The purpose of this research is to identify current situation of Sign Language Issues in Kyrgyzstan. The Russian Sign Language is used as a SL for all Deaf people in Kyrgyzstan as in the other parts of post-soviet landscape. The paper analyzes the challenges that deaf community and schools face. Society of Deaf and Blind in Kyrgyz Republic estimates 9507 disabled people in the country by January 2017. The data collected at the National Deaf school will be the main core of the analysis. Since Kyrgyz language acquired official status in 1989, the classes of the Kyrgyz language are conducted via bilingual method while translating gestures from Russian into Kyrgyz at the National Deaf school. However according to the official information of the Ministry of Education and Science, there is no officially accredited and codified Kyrgyz Sign language across the country despite there are some attempts to create it. Department of Special Education and Psychological Correction at the Ishenaly Arabaev State University trains teachers in Surdopedagogy and Oligophrenic pedagogy; their curriculum contains only some courses of gesture communication and Sign Language teachers have to develop their competency in gestures and signs by themselves. Recently some projects of non-governmental agencies started short-term courses of training the Sign Language Interpreters from the spoken Kyrgyz language into the Russian Sign Language. I argue that Sign Language Issues are not studied as a separate topic of research in the country. The lack of the research background makes the study extremely significant in the context of modern Post-soviet Linguistics. The research will concern the 'information conveyed by manual signs, the synchronicity between two hands'. The study also specifies if the Sign Language in Kyrgyzstan shares any significant similarities with their respective the spoken languages and culture.

panel LAN-03
Narratives and Areal Linguistics