Sign language in the Arab World has been recently recognized and documented. Many efforts have been made to establish the sign language used in individual countries, including Jordan, Egypt, Libya, and the Gulf States, by trying to standardize the language and spread it among members of the Deaf community and those concerned. Such efforts produced many sign languages, almost as many as Arabic-speaking countries, yet with the same sign alphabets. This article gives a tentative account of some sign languages in Arabic through reference to their possible evolution, which is believed to be affected by the diglossic situation in Arabic, and by comparing some aspects of certain sign languages (Jordanian, Palestinian, Egyptian, Kuwaiti, and Libyan) for which issues such as primes, configuration, and movement in addition to other linguistic features are discussed. A contrastive account that depicts the principal differences among Arabic sign languages in general and the spoken language is given.
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