Natural language of deaf people


The natural language of deaf people in Poland is Polish Sign Language (PJM), which has been the official statutory language since April 1, 2012. This enables deaf people to define PJM as the language they use on a daily basis. Moreover, PJM is the first language of a child that both parents are deaf. The structure of Polish Sign Language differs significantly from that of spoken languages. It has its own grammar, thanks to which the deaf person can express himself fully. The characteristic features of PJM are:

non-maneuverability – the movement and position of the torso, head, and facial expressions play a significant role in communication;

phonology – sign language does not contain the typical equivalents of phonemes, i.e. sounds. Instead, it includes their visual realization;

morphology – sign language has a rich morphology (word formation) as well as inflection (variation of parts of speech); moreover, in this language it is possible to create a new word on the basis of another;

syntax – structure of statements in sign language is based on the order SVO – the occurrence of the subject before the verb and the object at the end;

simultaneity – in sign language, the articulators are the hands and the face, thanks to which a deaf person can simultaneously give several signs, e.g. with the left or right hand or by means of facial expressions.