Tullio De Mauro and the Italian Sign Language

  • Virginia Volterra ISTC, CNR
Keywords: Sign Language, Italian Deaf Community, continuity action / gesture /sign, iconicity, LIS teaching in Italian universities


The purpose of the present paper is to reconstruct De Mauro's interest in sign languages by emphasizing how the perspective on language he offered is fundamental in describing sign languages, but also to recall his civic commitment. From the very beginning of the research  in Italian sign language (LIS) Tullio supported early investigations and fought for a recognition of LIS and its acceptance on par with other languages. His direct and indirect influence both in the description of this language and in the affairs of the Italian deaf community appears evident even if still little known and recognized