Kafr Qasem Sign Language

Kafr Qasem Sign Language (KQSL) arose in the town of Kafr Qasem in central Israel. Of its 20,000 residents, approximately 100 are deaf. From reports and interviews with residents of the town we have learned that deafness goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, making the language about one hundred years old.

We are investigating several aspects of the lexical and linguistic structure of KQSL, including its word order, sentence structure, and use of space. We are also compiling vocabulary items to create an on-line dictionary of the language.

link to Dictionary (under construction…)


Kastner, Itamar, Irit Meir, Wendy Sandler, Svetlana Dachkovsky: ‘The Emergence of Embedded Structure: Insights from Kafr Qasem Sign Language.’  Froniters in Psychology, vol. 5, 1-15.  doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00525