About PJM

Polish Sign Language (polski język migowy, PJM) is a visual-spatial language used by the Polish Deaf community (the name Deaf denotes a linguistic/cultural minority, therefore it is written in a capital letter). The earliest information about the language, followed by the attempts of analyses and dictionaries, comes from the second decade of the 19th century - in 1817, Rev. Jakub Falkowski established the Deaf and Blind Institute in Warsaw, thus providing the deaf with education in their natural language. PJM is not genetically related to Polish in any respect. It should also be distinguished from the sign-language system (System Językowo-Migowy, SJM) - a sub-code and a visual realization of Polish, developed in the 1960s as an artificial language devoid of grammar of its own. PJM is a natural language, developed historically and socially and geographically diverse. The body of a signer is its articulator. Features such as facial expression, body posture, and pantomime, typically considered extra-linguistic in spoken languages are recognised as grammatically important in PJM.