Croatian Sign Language

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Croatian Sign Language
Hrvatski znakovni jezik
Native toCroatia
Native speakers
13,000 (2014)[1]
out of 20,000 deaf
Language codes
ISO 639-3csq

Croatian sign language (Hrvatski znakovni jezik, HZJ[3][4]) is a sign language of the deaf community in Croatia.[5][6] It has in the past been regarded as a dialect of Yugoslav Sign Language, although the dialectical diversity of the former Yugoslavia has not been assessed.[7]

The first school for the deaf in Croatia was formed in Zagreb in 1885.[8] The Sign Language and Deaf Culture conference was held in Zagreb, Croatia from May 3–5, 2001.[9] In 2004, a project to establish a grammar of HZJ was started by researchers at Purdue University and the University of Zagreb.[10]

By law Croatian Radiotelevision is to promote the translation of programs into HZJ.[11] Major centres of education in HZJ are found in Zagreb, Split, and Osijek.[12]

Organizations for the deaf in Croatia include the Croatian Association of Deafblind Persons DODIR, which was established in 1994.[13]

The basic word order in HZJ is subject–verb–object (SVO), as it is in spoken Croatian.[14] A two-handed manual alphabet is in widespread use; a one-handed alphabet based on the international manual alphabet, though less commonly used, has official status.[7][15][16]


  1. ^ Croatian Sign Language at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Croatia Sign Language". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Diane Brentari, Sign Languages, Cambridge University Press, 2010. (p.xix)
  4. ^ Herbert L. Colston, Albert N. Katz; Figurative language comprehension, Routledge, 2005. (p.316)
  5. ^ Croatian Sign Language, Ethnologue
  6. ^ Zakon o uporabi znakovnog jezika u Bosnia i Hercegovini
  7. ^ a b Bickford, J. Albert (2005) The Signed Languages of Eastern Europe
  8. ^ Croatia profile Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine, The European Union of the Deaf
  9. ^ Cynthia J. Kellett Bidoli, Elana Ochse; English in International Deaf Communication, Peter Lang, 2008. (p.347)
  10. ^ A Basic Grammar of Croatian Sign Language Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Zakon o Hrvatskoj Radioteleviziji
  12. ^ Tečaj HZJ
  13. ^ Croatian Association of Deafblind Persons DODIR
  14. ^ Information status and word order in Croatian Sign Language, Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, November–December 2007; 21(11–12): 1007–1017.
  15. ^ Single-handed alphabet
  16. ^ Jednoručna abeceda

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