Republic of Mauritius

  • Total Population

    1.2 million

  • Deaf Population


  • Nation's Official Language

    English, French

  • Other Languages

    The number of established languages listed in Ethnologue is 9. Some of these are:

    • Malagasy
    • Morisyen
    • Telugu
  • Name of Sign Language

    Mauritian Sign Language (MSL)

  • Overview Of Deaf Community And Education

    A school for the deaf was founded in Beau Bassin in 1969 and then MSL is reported as starting to emerge (Adone 2007). It is not clear how many other schools provide education for deaf children. The University of Mauritius has apparently offered some MSL instruction.

  • Sign Language Overview

    Gebert and Adone (2006) found that several generations of signers existed indicating that MSL was at least fifty years old. A dictionary and grammar of MSL was written in 2006101 but little has appeared since then.

    Adone (2012) has reported on MSL as an emerging sign language. It shares features of other emerging sign languages such as gradual emerging sign order (SOV) and variation in spatial modification of verbs. Adone (2012) reports that there is little morphology, for example few agreement verbs. Aspect marking is, however, reported (Adone 2007, taken from Adone 2012).

  • Deaf Organizations In Country

    • The Society for the Welfare of the Deaf (SWDEAF)

  • Overview of Interpreting Services

    Interpreters have had some training but certification is not clear. Some MSL material is available on internet such as some individual signs  and clips of stories .

  • Resources

    Gebert, A., Adone, D., Horn, C., Croze, C., & Riebe, T. (2006). Dictionary and Grammar of Mauritian Sign Language: Dictionnaire Et Grammaire De La Langue Des Signes Mauricienne = Diksioner Ek Gramer Lang Sign Morisien. Also referenced as Adone, Dany & Gebert, A. (2006). A dictionary and grammar for Mauritian Sign Language. Volume 1. Editions Le Printemps Ltée, Vacoas, République de Maurice.  

    Adone, D. (2012). Language emergence and creolisation. In R. Pfau, M. Steinbach & B. Woll (Eds.), Sign language: An international handbook (pp. 862-889). Berlin: De Gruyter.  

  • List of Contributors

    Anne Baker

Name Sign of Mauritius
Name Sign of Mauritius