Deaf communities, their family and friends as a common and convenient means of communication, use sign languages in many parts of the world. Even within a country there might exists many sign languages that would vary from region to region, however, in Mexico there is just one language known as The Mexican Sign Language.
The Mexican Sign language is also known as "lengua de se?as mexicana", "Lenguaje de Signos Mexicano".It is also referred by the initials LSM. It is more commonly used in the urban regions.It is said that this language is used by about eighty seven thousand people in just the urban areas of Mexico.
Mexico has now developed many deaf communities and its own deaf culture. Now, all over Mexico there are many deaf schools, social organizations, religious services and sports. It is said that there is a church in the Mexico City which is known to hold masses in their local sign language. There are also many churches that are especially dedicated to the deaf here. And in places such as Guadalajara there also exist deaf ministries.
This form of sign language is used most by the people of the Mexico City, and then followed by Guadalajara and Monterrey. Besides these cities there are also a large number of small cities that use the language. It has also been noted that there is a lot of regional variation in the language. You might also find this kind of variation between people belonging to different age groups and people of different religious backgrounds.
Like all other sign languages the LSM also uses manual communication, lip patterns and body language instead of sound. It involves combining, simultaneously hand shapes, movement of the hands and its orientation along with the movement of arms or body and the facial expressions to express person's thoughts.
The Mexican sign language is very different from Spanish. It has totally different verb inflections and a different preference for the order of words. Lengua de se?as mexicana or the Mexican Sign language is believed to have been derived from OFSL or the Old Frence Sign Language, combined with the local sign languages that existed during that time.
This language developed in the year 1869.It is said that LSM might also have been influenced to a great extent by the Spanish Sign Language. It also has similarities to the American Sign Language (American Sign Language is used in the United States of America, Canada and many other countries).
The Mexican sign Language was declared officially as the National language along with Spanish and other many other languages that are to be used in the national education system for the deaf. The Mexican Sign Language has its own vocabulary and grammar. Just like all spoken languages LSM is also capable of showing a large number of words or expressing emotions. Here the articles of pronouns are generally finger spelt. Initially the education system in the country focused on speech and lip reading which is termed oralism.During this period there were a very few schools that conducted classes in Mexican Sign Language.