Maltese Sign Language

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Maltese Sign Language
Native to Malta
Native speakers
200 (2014)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mdl
Glottolog malt1238[2]

Maltese Sign Language (Maltese: Lingwa tas-Sinjali Maltija, LSM) is a young sign language of Malta. It developed into its modern form circa 1980 with the establishment of the first Deaf club in Malta, and subsequently with its use in education for the deaf. LSM's prior history is unrecorded, though there are some signs which indicate contact with British Sign Language (Malta was a British colony until 1964). These signs are relatively few, however, and LSM is not part of the BSL family (Brentari 2010).

Maria Galea has described the use of SignWriting when used to write Maltese Sign Language.[3]

The Maltese public broadcaster PBS Ltd. began airing a nightly newscast in LSM on its TVM2 network in 2012.[4]


  1. Maltese Sign Language at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Maltese Sign Language". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Galea, Maria (2014). SignWriting (SW) of Maltese Sign Language (LSM) and its development into an orthography: Linguistic considerations (Ph.D. dissertation). Malta: University of Malta. Retrieved 4 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Vella, Matthew (5 March 2012). "PBS takes Education 22 in cultural revamp of station". MaltaToday. Retrieved 23 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Marie Azzopardi-Alexander, "Iconicity and the development of Maltese Sign Language", in Fabri, ed., Maltese Linguistics: A Snapshot, 2009