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  • 1.
    Ainiala, Terhi
    et al.
    Helsinki University.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language Section.
    Henkilönnimet viittomakielessä (Arv. teos: Henkilöviittomien synty ja kehitys suomalaisessa viittomakieliyhteisössä/ Päivi Rainò - Helsinki 2004)2005In: Virittäjä, ISSN 0042-6806-109, Vol. 109, no 141–144Article, book review (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 2.
    Björkstrand, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Wallin, Lars
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Bäckström, Joel
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Jonsson, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Bergman, Brita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Gunnarsson, Magnus
    Svenskt teckenspråkslexikon2010Other (Other academic)
  • 3. Bono, Mayumi
    et al.
    Efthimiou, EleniFotinea, Stavroula-EvitaHanke, ThomasHochgesang, JulieKristoffersen, JetteMesch, JohannaStockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.Osugi, Yutaka
    8th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Involving the Language Community: Proceedings2018Conference proceedings (editor) (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Börstell, Carl
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Jantunen, Tommi
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Kimmelman, Vadim
    Oomen, Marloes
    de Lint, Vanja
    Transitivity prominence within and across modalities2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The idea of transitivity as a scalar phenomenon is well known (e.g., Hopper & Thompson 1980; Tsunoda 1985; Haspelmath 2015). However, as with most areas of linguistic study, it has been almost exclusively studied with a focus on spoken languages. A rare exception to this is Kimmelman (2016), who investigates transitivity in Russian Sign Language (RSL) on the basis of corpus data. Kimmelman attempts to establish a transitivity prominence hierarchy of RSL verbs, and compares this ranking to the verb meanings found in the ValPal database (Hartmann, Haspelmath & Bradley 2013). He arrives at the conclusion that using the frequency of overt objects in corpus data is a successful measure of transitivity prominence, and that the prominence ranking of RSL verbs correlate with that found for spoken languages in Haspelmath (2015). In this paper, we expand on these intra- and cross-modal comparisons of transitivity prominence by introducing four other sign languages to the sample: Finnish Sign Language (FinSL), Swedish Sign Language (SSL), Sign Language to the Netherlands (NGT), and German Sign Language (DGS). FinSL and SSL are known to be historically related (cf. Bergman & Engberg-Pedersen 2010), while the other are not related, which allows us to look at both modality and relatedness effects in our sample. Of the 80 core verb meanings in the ValPal database, Kimmelman (2016) included the 25 most frequent verbs in his corpus. For our study, we have annotated all occurrences of these 25 verb meanings in a subset of the corpora of FinSL (2h 40min; 18,446 tokens), SSL (2h 5min; 16,724 tokens), NGT (≈80,000 tokens), and DGS (≈58,000 tokens). We annotate whether a verb occurs with an overt object as well as the type of object (direct, indirect, clausal, or a locative). Looking at the ValPal verb meanings with ≥5 sign tokens in all four new languages, we arrive at 12 verbs that are found in all five sign languages and the spoken languages (SpL) of the ValPal database – see Table 1. In Table 1, we see that there is a general agreement across languages – both signed and spoken – in how transitivity prominent a verb meaning is. Spearman’s rank correlation shows a significant (p<0.05) correlation between all possible pairs except SSL–SpL (p=0.091) and SSL– RSL (p=0.074), corroborating Kimmelman’s finding that there are patterns of transitivity prominence present across languages and modalities. It is interesting that SSL thus diverges from the other sign languages in this sample: this deserves further investigation. We also wanted to investigate the transitivity prominence as a property of individual languages. In order to do so, we took the individual languages of the ValPal database and measured each verb meaning in each language with regard to its transitivity prominence. This meant calculating how many of the verb forms associated with a specific verb meaning took a P argument. Note that this is quite different from calculating transitivity prominence based on corpus data: with corpora, we calculated the proportion of verbal tokens occurring with an overt object, and with the ValPal database, we calculated the proportion of transitive verb associated with a particular concept. We included the 12 verb meanings found across all languages (the five sign languages and 33 spoken languages). We then calculated mean distances across verb meanings and languages, and plotted this with multidimensional scaling in Figure 1. In the figure, we see that the five sign languages form a part of a cluster, suggesting either modality-based similarities, or similarities that come with the difference in data (corpus data rather than lexical data). On the other hand, sign languages as a group are not clearly opposed to spoken languages as a group, which implies that the corpus-based and lexical calculations of transitivity are comparable. Interestingly, FinSL and SSL are not more strongly associated than the other sign languages, which implies that their historical relatedness is not directly relevant to transitivity. In our presentation, we will present the results and the conclusions in more detail, as well as discuss the possibilities of using corpus data to establish valency patterns for languages in the signed modality.

  • 5.
    Börstell, Carl
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Wallin, Lars
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Segmenting the Swedish Sign Language corpus: On the possibilities of using visual cues as a basis for syntactic segmentation2014In: Workshop Proceedings: 6th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Beyond the Manual Channel / [ed] Onno Crasborn, Eleni Efthimiou, Evita Fotinea, Thomas Hanke, Julie Hochgesang, Jette Kristoffersen, Johanna Mesch, Paris: ELRA , 2014, p. 7-10Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper deals with the possibility of conducting syntactic segmentation of the Swedish Sign Language Corpus (SSLC) on the basisof the visual cues from both manual and nonmanual signals. The SSLC currently features segmentation on the lexical level only, whichis why the need for a linguistically valid segmentation on e.g. the clausal level would be very useful for corpus-based studies on thegrammatical structure of Swedish Sign Language (SSL). An experiment was carried out letting seven Deaf signers of SSL each segmenttwo short texts (one narrative and one dialogue) using ELAN, based on the visual cues they perceived as boundaries. This was latercompared to the linguistic analysis done by a language expert (also a Deaf signer of SSL), who segmented the same texts into whatwas considered syntactic clausal units. Furthermore, these segmentation procedures were compared to the segmentation done for theSwedish translations also found in the SSLC. The results show that though the visual and syntactic segmentations overlap in manycases, especially when a number of cues coincide, the visual segmentation is not consistent enough to be used as a means of segmentingsyntactic units in the SSLC.

  • 6.
    Börstell, Carl
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Wirén, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Computational Linguistics.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Gärdenfors, Moa
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Towards an Annotation of Syntactic Structure in the Swedish Sign Language Corpus2016In: Workshop Proceedings: 7th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Corpus Mining / [ed] Eleni Efthimiou, Stavroula-Evita Fotinea, Thomas Hanke, Julie Hochgesang, Jette Kristoffersen, Johanna Mesch, Paris: ELRA , 2016, p. 19-24Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper describes on-going work on extending the annotation of the Swedish Sign Language Corpus (SSLC) with a level of syntactic structure. The basic annotation of SSLC in ELAN consists of six tiers: four for sign glosses (two tiers for each signer; one for each of a signer’s hands), and two for written Swedish translations (one for each signer). In an additional step by Östling et al. (2015), all ¨ glosses of the corpus have been further annotated for parts of speech. Building on the previous steps, we are now developing annotation of clause structure for the corpus, based on meaning and form. We define a clause as a unit in which a predicate asserts something about one or more elements (the arguments). The predicate can be a (possibly serial) verbal or nominal. In addition to predicates and their arguments, criteria for delineating clauses include non-manual features such as body posture, head movement and eye gaze. The goal of this work is to arrive at two additional annotation tier types in the SSLC: one in which the sign language texts are segmented into clauses, and the other in which the individual signs are annotated for their argument types.

  • 7. Clark, Becky
    et al.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    A global perspective on disparity of gender anddisability for deaf female athletes2018In: Sport in Society: Cultures, Media, Politics, Commerce, ISSN 1743-0437, E-ISSN 1743-0445, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 64-75Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although the significance of gender and disability issues has graduallyincreased in the global society during the past three decades,there are only few studies with regard to the deaf community andsport. This article examines the level of Deaf or Hard-of-Hearingwomen’s participation in sports and the factors for their continuedunderrepresentation. The WomenSport International’s Task Force onDeaf and Hard of Hearing Girls and Women in Sport conducted aworld-wide survey to determine and assess the needs of deaf andhard of hearing girls and women in sport. A snapshot of the resultsand issues and future aspirations are provided.

  • 8.
    Crasborn, Onno
    et al.
    Radboud University Nijmegen.
    Kooij, Els van der
    Radboud University Nijmegen.
    Waters, Dafydd
    UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience.
    Woll, Bencie
    Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre, UCL.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Frequency distribution and spreading behavior of different types of mouth actions in three sign languages2008In: Sign Language and Linguistics, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 45–67-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we present a comparative study of mouth actions in three European sign languages: British Sign Language (BSL), Nederlandse Gebarentaal (Sign Language of the Netherlands, NGT), and Swedish Sign Language (SSL). We propose a typology for, and report the frequency distribution of, the different types of mouth actions observed. In accordance with previous studies, we find the three languages remarkably similar — both in the types of mouth actions they use, and in how these mouth actions are distributed. We then describe how mouth actions can extend over more than one manual sign. This spreading of mouth actions is the primary focus of this paper. Based on an analysis of comparable narrative material in the three languages, we demonstrate that the direction as well as the source and goal of spreading may be language-specific.

  • 9.
    Crasborn, Onno
    et al.
    Radboud University Nijmegen.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language Section.
    Waters, Dafydd
    University College London.
    Nonhebel, Annika
    Radboud University Nijmegen.
    Woll, Bencie
    University College London.
    Bergman, Brita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language Section.
    Sharing sign languague data online: Experiences from the ECHO project2007In: International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, ISSN 1384-6655, Vol. 12, no 4, p. 537-564Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    This article describes how new technological possibilities allow sign language researchers to share and publish video data and transcriptions online. Both linguistic and technological aspects of creating and publishing a sign language corpus are discussed, and standards are proposed for both metadata and transcription categories specific to sign language data. In addition, ethical aspects of publishing video data of signers online are considered, and suggestions are offered for future corpus projects and software tools.

  • 10. Efthimiou, Eleni
    et al.
    Fotinea, Stavroula-EvitaHanke, ThomasHochgesang, JulieKristoffersen, JetteMesch, JohannaStockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Workshop Proceedings: 7th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Corpus Mining2016Conference proceedings (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This collection of papers stems from the Seventh Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages, held in May 2016 as a satellite to the Language Resources and Evaluation Conference in Portorož. While there has been occasional attention for sign languages at the main LREC conference, the main focus there is on spoken languages in their written and spoken forms. This series of workshops, however, offers a forum for researchers focussing on sign languages. For the fifth time, the workshop had sign language corpora as its main topic, however not surprisingly, since during the past years, sign language corpora became a major trend in sign language research. This time, the focus was on corpus mining. Once again, the papers at this workshop clearly identify the potentials of even closer cooperation between sign linguists and sign language engineers, and we think it is events like this that contribute a lot to a better understanding between researchers with completely different backgrounds.

  • 11.
    Holmström, Ingela
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Teckenspråkskommunikation och nyttjande av teckenrummet i dialog mellan personer med dövblindhet2018Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Det finns i Sverige runt 2000 personer under 65 år med dövblindhet. En andel av dem är döva sedan barndomen och har förvärvat sin synnedsättning senare i livet. De har då vanligen svenskt teckenspråk som sitt förstaspråk och har i takt med att synen blivit sämre övergått till att använda sig av taktilt teckenspråk som är en del av det svenska teckenspråket, men som inte i samma utsträckning grundar sig i vad som kan uppfattas visuellt. I den här forskningsrapporten studeras taktil teckenspråkskommunikation och hur de personer med dövblindhet som först lärt sig det visuella svenska teckenspråket innan de övergår till att använda taktilt svenskt teckenspråk använder sig av teckenrummet i dialoger med varandra. Till grund för analysen ligger en korpus som består av åtta informanter i varierande åldrar från olika delar av Sverige. Denna korpus har kunnat skapas tack vare medel från Mo Gårds forskningsfond och arbetet med att annotera dialogerna har pågått allt sedan inspelningarna genomfördes år 2013. Idag har strax under hälften av korpusen annoterats och det är den annoterade delen som ligger till grund för analysen som redovisas i denna rapport. Bland annat beskrivs hur informanterna skapar gemensam mening och förståelse när de inte ser varandra och hur de ger återkopplingar på ett sätt som skiljer sig från hur man gör i det visuella svenska teckenspråket. Dessutom visas skillnader mellan det visuella och taktila svenska teckenspråket avseende andelen bokstaveringar, som är högre i det taktila, liksom förekomsten av pekningar som istället är mindre vanliga där.

  • 12.
    Holmström, Ingela
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Schönström, Krister
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Teckenspråksforskningen under 2000-talet: En översikt2019Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Det finns många olika inriktningar inom teckenspråksforskningen idag och en avsevärd mängd studier utifrån olika perspektiv och på olika språkliga nivåer. I den här forskningsrapporten görs en översikt över svensk och internationell teckenspråksforskning under 2000-talet, med särskilt fokus på allmänspråkvetenskap. Rapporten berör dock även kognitiv lingvistik, psyko- och neurolingvistik samt sociolingvistik. Dessutom fokuseras i ett varsitt avsnitt barns teckenspråk och inlärning av teckenspråk som andraspråk. Det som tas upp är ett urval av den forskning som bedrivits och rapporten gör inte anspråk på att vara heltäckande, men ger utöver de översiktliga beskrivningarna också ett stort antal referenser för fortsatt egen läsning inom de olika områden som tas upp.

  • 13. Jantunen, Tommi
    et al.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Börstell, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    GIVE or TAKE: Transitivity prominence of Finnish Sign Language and Swedish Sign Language verbs2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we apply methodology presented in Kimmelman (2016) and investigate the transitivityprominence of verbs in Finnish Sign Language (FinSL) and Swedish Sign Language (SSL). Specifically,we ask how similar or different FinSL and SSL verbs are in terms of their transitivity prominence,and how the transitivity prominence of FinSL and SSL verbs compares with that of verbs inother languages. The term transitivity prominence refers to the relative frequency with which a verboccurs with an object. Haspelmath (2015) has shown that in spoken languages, verbs form a rankedcontinuum between those that are highly transitivity prominent and those that occur with no objectat all. Recently, Kimmelman (2016) has argued that Haspelmath's ranking applies also to the verbsof Russian Sign Language (RSL).Our investigation is based on annotated corpus data comprising narratives, conversations andpresentations. For FinSL, we use material from 20 signers (2h 40min, 18446 sign tokens) and forSSL from 28 signers (1h 54min, 15186 sign tokens). From this data, we identified 18 verb lexemeswhich all have enough tokens and which are all comparable between languages. In FinSL, the totalnumber of verb tokens is 745 and in SSL the corresponding number is 579. All the verbs were annotatedfor overt direct and indirect objects and for overt clausal complements. The annotation workwas carried out by different annotators following common guidelines.Concerning the results, our data suggests that there are clear similarities in what verbs rankhighest (e.g. GIVE, TAKE) and what lowest (e.g. HAPPY, COLD) in terms of their transitivity prominencein FinSL and SSL. On the basis of Haspelmath (2015) and Kimmelman (2016), these are thesame verbs that are ranked highest and lowest also in spoken languages and in RSL (Table 1).However, the data also shows that certain verbs (e.g. SEARCH, TALK, PLAY) may differ considerablyin the position they occupy in the ranking. Although some of these differences can be assumed to betrue differences between languages, we suspect that some may, despite our best efforts, be traceableback to issues relating to the type of data as well as to the way the samples were formed and objectsannotated. In our presentation, we will present the results of our comparative study and discuss thedata and methodology-related issues in more detail.

  • 14. Jantunen, Tommi
    et al.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Puupponen, Anna
    Aspects of the rhythm in Finnish and Swedish Sign Language2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we investigate a hypothesis, derived from the intuitions of native signers, that there is a rhythmic difference between two historically related sign languages, Finnish Sign Language (FinSL) and Swedish Sign Language (SSL). We define the notion of rhythm as 'the organization of units in time' and presume that the rhythmic feel of a language is determined by the phonetic properties and events that are used in the marking of the areas and borders of temporally ordered units such as signs and sentences (Patel & Daniele 2003; Patel 2006). In previous studies (Boyes Braem 1999; Sandler 2012), it has been suggested that the markers of rhythmic sequences in signed language are, for example, temporal duration, punctual indices (e.g. head nods), and articulatory contours. Accordingly, we approach our hypothesis with three main research questions: (i) Are the signing speed and sign duration different in FinSL and SSL, (ii) Are head nods aligned differently in terms of syntactic units in FinSL and SSL, and (iii) Is the motion of the head different in terms of its articulatory contour in FinSL and SSL sentences? The study is based on narratives collected with identical tasks in both languages (5 Snowman and Frog, where are you? stories per language). The total amount of video material is one hour (30+30 minutes) and it includes signing from twenty (10+10) signers. All of the material has been annotated for signs, sentences and nods. The material also includes 3D numerical data on the head motion of signers (the yaw, pitch, and roll angles). The 3D data has been obtained with computer-vision technology implemented in SLMotion software (Karppa et. al 2014). Concerning question (i), we have not so far found any significant differences in the signing speed and sign duration of the two languages. With a pilot sample of 4+4 signers and 1100 signs per language, we have determined the average signing speed to be two signs per second in both languages, and the average duration of (the core of) the sign to be 0.27 seconds in SSL and 0.29 seconds in FinSL. Concerning (ii), the average number of nods per story was higher in FinSL than in SSL but both languages tended to align nods with syntactic boundaries: of the total number of nods, 81% in FinSL and 77% in SSL occurred on a syntactic boundary, and generally also at the end of the sentence (Figure 1). Concerning question (iii), our initial tests with Snowman revealed that, for example, the amplitude of the tilting-like (roll) motion of the head decreased similarly toward the end of sentences in both languages (Figure 2) but FinSL signers employed this particular type of motion more often in the marking of syntactic junctures than SSL signers (Figure 3). The preliminary results indicate some differences between FinSL and SSL. In our presentation we will present the final results and discuss them in detail with respect to our initial hypothesis.

  • 15. Jantunen, Tommi
    et al.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Puupponen, Anna
    Laaksonen, Jorma
    On the rhythm of head movements in Finnish and Swedish Sign Language sentences2016In: The Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2016 / [ed] Jon Barnes, Alejna Brugos, Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel, Nanette Veilleux, The International Speech Communication Association (ISCA), 2016, p. 850-853Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates, with the help of computer-vision technology,the similarities and differences in the rhythm of themovements of the head in sentences in Finnish (FinSL) andSwedish Sign Language (SSL). The results show that themovement of the head in the two languages is often very similar:in both languages, the instances when the movement of thehead changes direction were distributed similarly with regardto clause-boundaries, and the contours of the roll (tilting-like)motion of the head during the sentences were similar. Concerningdifferences, direction changes were found to be usedmore effectively in the marking of clause-boundaries in FinSL,and in SSL the head moved nearly twice as fast as in FinSL. However, the small amount of data means that the results canbe considered to be only preliminary. The paper indicates theroll angle of the head as a domain for further work on head related rhythm.

  • 16. Kaneko, Michiko
    et al.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Eye gaze in creative sign language2013In: Sign Language Studies, ISSN 0302-1475, E-ISSN 1533-6263, Vol. 13, no 3, p. 372-400Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article discusses the role of eye gaze in creative sign language. Because eye gaze conveys various types of linguistic and poetic information, it is an intrinsic part of sign language linguistics in general and of creative signing in particular. We discuss various functions of eyegaze in poetic signing and propose a classification of gaze behaviors based on the observation of a number of poems in British Sign Language and Swedish Sign Language.

  • 17. Kristensson, Christy
    et al.
    Steiner, Edit
    Mesch, Urban
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    110 fantastiska år med Idrottsklubben Surd2015Book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 18. Lillo-Martin, Diane
    et al.
    Rathmann, Christian
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Sign Language Linguistics Society: Sign language research and sign language rights for all2019In: Sign Language Rights for All: Programme & Abstracts, 2019, p. 128-128Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The international Sign Language Linguistics Society was founded by a group of sign language linguists in 2000 and aims to promote sign language research on an international scale and the maintenance of high scientific and ethical standards of research into the languages of deaf communities. SLLS encourages the exchange of information through meetings and publications, particularly the Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR) conference series. SLLS signed a memorandum of understanding with the WFD in 2016. In this presentation, we will discuss some of the ways that SLLS members are involved in activities that support sign language rights for all. Many SLLS members work on research into sign language acquisition by deaf and hearing children (Chen Pichler et al., 2018), and on promoting linguistic human rights and the avoidance of language deprivation for deaf children (Humphries et al., 2016). Most SLLS members also work in other less obvious ways in supporting sign language rights, particularly in the linguistic description and documentation of the sign languages of deaf communities. In the last decade, we have seen the rise of corpus-based approaches to sign language linguistics. Corpora are large representative samples of language data that can be search by computer and which can provide a collection for many uses. We have also seen more online dictionaries of sign languages, many of them supported by the work done by sign language researchers. Linguists also work on reference grammars, and work with deaf communities in many parts of the world to document their sign languages, including many endangered village sign languages. Sign language researchers provide evidence to language policy makers, and work to promote linguistic and cultural diversity to government. Sign language corpora, reference grammars and online dictionaries provide invaluable resources to sign language teachers, students and trainee interpreters. The increased understanding of sign language structure and use that comes from the work of linguists leads to improved sign language teaching resources that describe how the language is used within deaf communities. This will in turn enable us to create more reliable and valid sign language assessment instruments, for example. The greater understanding of and improved resources for sign language teaching and learning will also provide an evidence base for policy makers in supporting appropriate education, training and services for deaf children and adults. More appropriate resources for the bilingual education of deaf children and for sign language teaching interpreter training will lead to improved quality of educational and interpreting services for deaf people and provide more opportunities for self-development and employment. All of these aspects of the struggle for sign language rights are supported by the work of SLLS members.

  • 19.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Att använda ELAN: Bruksanvisning för annotering och studie av teckenspråkstexter: Version 22009Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 20.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Att använda ELAN: Bruksanvisning för annotering och studie av teckenspråkstexter: Version 32011Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 21.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Available but not accessible: Options for adapting old Swedish Sign Language archives to modern documentation conventions2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Video is an important medium for linguistic and historic research on signed language. Video recordings of Swedish Sign Language (SSL), mainly from the 1970s, have been preserved for the next generation, but the organizing, archiving, and sharing of this material is not standardized. The Swedish National Association for the Deaf (SDR) has been one of the biggest producers of SSL material, before the production moved to Swedish Broadcasting (SVT). A large amount of video recordings, produced 1970-1990, are in the SDR archive, preserved but not systematically archived and documented. SSL material by SVT since 1974 is available through streaming in their “open archive” (“Öppet arkiv”)—about 72 entries—and the Swedish Media Database at the National Library of Sweden (KB)—about 7,100 entries. The CLARIN Research Infrastructure and the national Swedish consortium SWE-CLARIN is one way for scholars in the humanities and social sciences to access data, and provides tools for exploring, annotating, and analyzing data (Nilsson Björkenstam et al, 2014). Corpus-based work on SSL started in 2003, preceding the SSL Corpus project (2009-2011), and this work provides a model for annotation work, and metadata and archiving procedures. This could be applied to older archives, such as the SDR material.

  • 22.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Challenges of creating a sign dictionary2018In: Records of Visible Language: Sign Language Dictionary, Seoul: The National Institute of Korean Langauge (NIKL) , 2018, p. 61-77Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The article will describe how the Swedish Sign Language Dictionary has developed, and why it takes a long time to establish such a dictionary. A lexicographic work of Swedish Sign Language was initiated in 1988 at Stockholm University, and it resulted, in 2001, the first dictionary online. The Swedish Sign Language Dictionary was created in 2008 and has been in development since. When the direction of the corpus construction started in 2003, and when the corpus data, thanks to the three-years project of the Swedish Sign Language Corpus 2009-2011, expanded with gloss annotations, a discussion has arisen about how the Online Swedish Sign Language Dictionary should continue to be in its development and in which direction, and how to use the SSL Corpus as a source of input for new signs and lexical variation in the SSL Dictionary.

  • 23.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Dialog, kollektivt lärande och språkresurser: Möjligheter och problem med campusutbildning och nätbaserad utbildning för studenter i ämnet teckenspråk (lingvistik)2012Other (Other academic)
  • 24.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    International Sign: Linguistic, Usage, and Status Issues, edited by Rachel Rosenstock and Jemina Napier (Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press, 2016)2017In: Sign Language Studies, ISSN 0302-1475, E-ISSN 1533-6263, Vol. 17, no 3, p. 403-406Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 25.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Manual backchannel responses in signers' conversations in Swedish Sign Language2016In: Language & Communication, ISSN 0271-5309, E-ISSN 1873-3395, Vol. 50, p. 22-41Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The current study aims to determine the manual backchannel responses that signers use in Swedish Sign Language discourse by analyzing a subset of the SSL Corpus. The investiga- tion found 20% of the backchannel responses in this data to be manual. The study focuses on the manual backchannel responses that consist of signs (mostly the sign gloss YES) and gesture-like signs (PU “palms up”), and other manual activities, which can occur at a relatively low height in signing space. With respect to age groups, younger signers engage in more weak manual activity than older signers.

  • 26.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language Section.
    Narratives in Tactile Sign Language2006In: The Deaf Way II Reader : Perspectives from the Second International Conference on Deaf Culture / [ed] Goodstein, Harvey, Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press , 2006, p. 344-348Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 27.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Perspectives on the concept and definition of International Sign2010Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 28.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language Section.
    Påminner nationella teckenspråk varandra?2006In: Teckenspråk: Sociala och historiska perspektiv / [ed] Karin Hoyer, Monica Londen och Jan-Ola Östman, Helsingfors: Nordica Institutionen för nordiska språk och nordisk litteratur, Helsingfors universitet , 2006, p. 71-95Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 29.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language Section.
    Ruotsalaisen ja suomalaisen viittomakielen välisistä yhteyksistä2008In: Kieliviesti, ISSN 0280-350X, no 4, p. 9-12Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 30.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language Section.
    Sex och samlevnad2007Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 31.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Sign Language: Tactile2016In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia / [ed] Genie Gertz, Patrick Boudreault, Sage Publications, 2016, p. 820-821Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 32.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Signing and showing in tactual modality2018In: Sign CAFÉ 1: The first international workshop on cognitive and functional explorations in sign language linguistics, 2018, p. 16-17Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Tactile sign languages are described as sign language variants for DeafBlind (DB) signers. When losing their sight, they sign in the tactile modality, while holding each other's hand/s (Edwards, 2015; Mesch, 2001, 2016). Presence of constructed action through eye gaze, and also other articulators such as head and body, requests modification of indicating verbs or depicting verbs (Cormier, Smith, & Sevcikova-Sehyr, 2015). DB signers can be a part of the event and imagine themselves as other referents when producing indicating verbs, or tend to imagine themselves as other referents during production of these verbs in a motivated way (cf. surrogate space of Liddell (2003)). An earlier study (Mesch, Raanes, & Ferrara, 2015) shows that the signer can use her/his own or the other interlocutor’s hand or body part as part of the utterance to create joint attention/meaning.The Tactile Sign Language Corpus currently features one long and 60 short video files (totally 4:30 hours) with accompanying annotation files created in the multimodal annotation tool ELAN. Annotation work with glosses and translation is ongoing. Only two of the video files are selected, with two DB male signers, to highlight the study on referring people and constructing events without gaze directions and head movements. The elicitation method for data collection differs from other sign language corpora because of limited possibilities to use a picture book, cartoons or video. In this presentation, we will describe tactual elicitation methods.In general, the results show that the use of constructed action by DB signers differs from the one by sighted signers. The DB signers use different strategies to show what the referents are doing in the narratives. The results also show that they create fewer surrogate and token spaces, but they are able to complete them tactually through placing signs in different directions and distances, and also using the other interlocutor’s hand or arm as part of the mental space, see Figures 1-3.

  • 33.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Svensk teckenspråkskorpus - dess tillkomst och uppbyggnad2015Report (Other academic)
  • 34.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Swedish Sign Language Corpus2012In: Deaf Studies Digital Journal, ISSN 2158-1398, Vol. 3Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 35.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Tactile signing with one-handed perception2013In: Sign Language Studies, ISSN 0302-1475, E-ISSN 1533-6263, Vol. 13, no 2, p. 238-263Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Tactile signing among persons with deaf-blindness is not homogenous;rather, like other forms of language, it exhibits variation, especiallyin turn taking. Early analyses of tactile Swedish Sign Language,tactile Norwegian Sign Language, and tactile French Sign Languagefocused on tactile communication with four hands, in which partiallyblind or functionally blind signers use both hands for productionand perception in the conversation dyad. In this article, I add to thisbody of research by focusing on tactile one-handed perception inSwedish Sign Language, in which a signer uses the left hand to produceand receive signs, and an addressee uses the right hand not onlyto receive but also to produce signs after taking a turn. As part ofthis discussion, I also look at issues of conversation regulation, handmovement during the turn change, and variation in the backchannelsignals. The study shows that in tactile signing, interlocutors mustchange hand position when taking turns.

  • 36.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Teckenrummet i taktilt teckenspråk av personer med förvärvad dövblindhet: en förstudie2013In: Kropslig og taktil sprogudvikling: En antologi om forskellige sprogmodaliteters muligheder og umuligheder, undersøgt med afsæt i personer med medfødt døvblindhed / [ed] Jesper Dammeyer & Anja Nielsen, Aalborg: Materialecentret , 2013, p. 157-166Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Signing space in tactile signing for persons with acquired deafblindness - a pilot study

    The article describes how signing space is used in tactile Swedish Sign Language. Signers with acquired deafblindness, partly or fully deaf-blind, who have grown up using sign language, communicate with each other and other people who use sign language with hand contact and using signing space (the so-called spatial room) as a joint signing space. The signing space has two different functions - both for turn-taking and also for the produc­tion of signs in the neutral position in front of the signer, with the possibi­lity of modifying the direction/location of the articulator/s. The spatial part of the sign language also has an important role in the creation of mental images (pictures), which requires a visual concept.

  • 37.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Teckenspråk i IT-stödd undervisning2013In: Lärarkonferens 2013 :, 2013Conference paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Svenskt teckenspråk är ett gestuellt-visuellt språk. På sistone har det skett en förändring när det gäller undervisningsformer och analysverktyg för lingvistiska studier i teckenspråk vid Institutionen för lingvistik, Stockholms universitet. Att utveckla IT-stödd undervisning ställer större krav på videoteknik och ämnesdidaktik. I presentationen delger vi våra erfarenheter för a) webbaserad kommunikation via Adobe Connect och Skype, b) redovisning och inlämningsuppgift på teckenspråkoch c) digitala språkresurser.

  • 38.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language Section.
    Teckenspråk i taktil form2006In: Teckenspråk: Sociala och historiska perspektiv / [ed] Karin Hoyer, Monica Londen och Jan-Ola Östman, Helsingfors: Nordica, Institutionen för nordiska språk och nordisk litteratur, Helsingfors universitet , 2006, p. 129-143Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 39.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics. Avdelningen för teckenspråk.
    Teckenspråk i taktil form: Turtagning och frågor i dövblindas samtal på teckenspråk1998Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The present study focuses on turn-taking and questions in conversations between deaf-blind persons using tactile sign language, i.e. communicating by holding each others hands, and how sign language utterances change in the tactile mode when the nonmanual signals characteristic of turntaking and interrogative sentences in (visual) sign language are not used. The material consists of six video-recorded conversations (four with deaf-blind pairs and two where one person is deaf and one is deaf-blind). Parts of the material, viz. 168 sequences with questions and answers, has been transcribed and analyzed.

    The analysis shows that deaf-blind signers use their hands in two different conversation positions. In the monologue position both the signer's hands are held under the hands of the listener, whereas in the dialogue position both participants hold their hands in identical ways: the right hand under the other person's left hand and the left hand on top of the other person's right hand. It is described how the two positions affect the structure of one- and twohanded signs and how back channeling, linguistic as well as non-linguistic (with different kinds of tapping), is used in the two positions.

    The analysis shows that differences in the vertical and the horizontal planes are used in turn-taking regulation. Using four different conversational levels the signer can signal e.g. turn change by lowering his/her hands from the turn level to the turn change level at the end of his/her turn. The horizontal plane is devided into three different turn zones. The turn holder uses his/her own turn zone close to the body and finishes the turn by moving the hands to the joint zone midway between the interlocutors or into the listener's zone.

    The analyzed utterances function as questions, yes/no-questions (82) as well as wh-questions (55). It is hypothesized that yes/no-questions are marked with the manual signal extended duration of the last sign of the utterance, one of the interrogative signals of visual signing, but this was only true for 46 % of the yes/no-questions in the material. Since extended duration of the last sign also signals turn change in e.g. statements it is not regarded as an interrogative signal. Additional markers of yes/no-questions are among others the sign INDEX-adr ('you') with its variant INDEX-adr-long, used as a summons signal, and repetitions of signs or sentences. As for the wh-questions a majority are made with a manual wh-sign. Generally, if there are no interrogative signals the context and the content of the utterance will account for its interpretation as a question.

    To avoid misunderstandings, questions and non-linguistic signals are used in checking turns, where the signer requests back channeling or the listener requests repetition or clarification.

     

  • 40.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Teckenspråkets framtid2018Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 41.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Variations in tactile signing - the case of one-handed signing2011In: ESUKA – JEFUL, no 2-1, p. 273-282Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Tactile sign language is a variety of a national sign language.Tactile signing among persons with deafblindness also includessome minor variations. Early analyses of tactile Swedish Sign Language(e.g. Mesch 1998, 2001) show how interactants use both theirhands in tactile communication in two different positions: dialogueposition and monologue position. This paper examines the signingvariations that partially or functionally blind signers encounter whenusing one hand to communicate with each other in a conversationdyad in what is one of the most advanced types of sign languagecommunication. In tactile one-handed signing, the signer uses herright hand both for producing and receiving signs, while the addresseeuses her left hand not only for receiving but also for producing signsafter turn-taking, even though it is the non-dominant hand and, therefore,is not normally used to produce one-handed signs. In this study,conversation analysis was conducted on the discourse of four groups.The results show that some variations depend on the linguistic backgroundof individuals and their everyday communication. A comparativestudy of a two-handed and a one-handed system is thenpresented, focusing on issues of simplicity, flexibility, turn-taking, andfeedback. Some results showing changes in the sign structures ofboth communication types are also presented.

  • 42.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language Section.
    Viipleme koos. Teavet taktiilse viipekeele kohta2005Book (Other academic)
  • 43.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language Section.
    Viitotaan yhdessä. Tietoa taktiilista viittomakielestä2004Book (Other academic)
  • 44.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Viittomien glossit ja ajalliset pituudet [The glosses and temporal durations of signs questions relating to sign language annotation]: annotointityöskentelyyn liittyviä kysymyksiä [questions relating to sign language annotation]2010In: Näkökulmia viittomaan ja viittomistoon [Perspectives on sign and lexicon] / [ed] Tommi Jantunen, Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä , 2010Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, questions relating to sign language annotation are discussed. ELAN, the computer-assisted annotation tool that has been applied in and tested for sign language annotation since 2002, has already shown its potential in synchronizing sign language texts in video format with transcription. However, during the annotation work two questions have arisen. The first concerns the selection and nature of the gloss for the sign, and the second the duration of the glossed annotation, that is, the question of where the sign begins and ends on a video. These questions have emerged especially from work on the large corpora of sign language texts, and in the teaching of sign language linguistics. The findings discussed here suggest that more unified linguistic transcription conventions should be developed for glossing so that, for example, searching the annotations in ELAN would be easier in the larger sign language corpora made available for researchers and students.

  • 45.
    Mesch, Johanna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language Section.
    Bäckström, Joel
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language Section.
    Siffertecken2008Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 46.
    Mesch, Johanna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Clark, Becky
    Birley, Dawn Jani
    WSI on Breaking Barriers and Empowering Deaf and Hard of Hearing Girls and Women in Sport2014Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 47.
    Mesch, Johanna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Kaneko, Michiko
    Signed renga: Exploration of collaborative forms in sign language poetry2017In: African Studies, ISSN 0002-0184, E-ISSN 1469-2872, Vol. 76, no 3, p. 381-401Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    South African Sign Language (SASL) poetry is still exploring many forms of poetry genres. This article describes the recent development of a new ‘genre’ in sign language poetry: signed renga (group poetry). The article will outline the form – what it is, how it has developed and spread, and why it is an apparently successful poetic genre. A sketch of a workshop from Signing Hands Across the Water 2 (SHAW 2) will also be provided to illustrate how renga emerges out of group work. First we will briefly explain common features of signed renga, drawing on a body of signed renga in British, Irish and Swedish Sign Languages. The second half of the article is an in-depth analysis of one signed renga, titled South Africa, which emerged from the SHAW 2 festival, with a focus on transitions as collaborative performance using shared signing space and eye gaze direction

  • 48.
    Mesch, Johanna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Mesch, Urban
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Den framstående idrottsmannen Johan Alfred Selenius Dahlström2013Book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 49.
    Mesch, Johanna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Müller de Quadros, Ronice
    Segmentation in sign languages2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this paper is to discuss different levels of segmentation considering linguistic analyses of sign languages. These levels of segmentation include the (1) word, sign by sign; (2) the utterance, based on each statement; (3) the syntactic segments focusing on the predicates; (4) the sentence, including subordinates, coordinates, complements, relative clauses; and, (5) translation. Each level of segmentation will be presented considering specific criteria. The segmentation of sign languages focused on in this presentation was proposed based on data from two sign language corpora: Swedish Sign Language Corpus and Brazilian Sign Language Corpus. We analyzed annotations from conversation settings of eight Deaf people, four from each country, each one an interactive setting in pairs. Conversation is a setting that involves more spontaneous production, without previous planning. This kind of setting needs additional criteria for segmentation to be analyzed at different levels of linguistic analysis.

    An utterance is a full proposition, and is a segment including formal marks such as intonation and pauses in association with the context in which is produced. A syntactic segment is expressed through a predicate (verbal or nominal). Each predicate is separated in this specific segment. Following Börstell et al. (2016:19), we define a clause (here a syntactic segment) as a unit in which a predicate asserts something about one or more elements (the arguments). The base of the sentence is driven by syntax, while the utterance is driven by meaning. A full proposition can have more than one syntactic segment. In both cases, prosody is taken into account. Prosody includes non-manual markers, pauses, body- or gaze shifting, blinks and head nod (as analyzed for Finnish Sign Language and Swedish Sign Language, in Puupponen et al. 2016).

    For syntactic analysis, we can consider multiple syntactic segments for studying different sentence levels of only one syntactic phrase or more, including different scopes of the sentence (such as a verbal phrase, or nominal phrase, an adverbial phrase, an adjectival phrase, a topic phrase, a focus phrase, a complement phrase).

    The translation tier is created through utterances in another language (such as Swedish and Portuguese, and into English). We have seen that it might coincide with the utterance in sign language, but not always. This seems to happen because the proposition in each language may be slightly different.

    The following examples illustrate the criteria established for both languages:

    SSL (SSLC01_246 00:02:18.500-00:02:24.090)One utterance, four syntactic segmentsUtterance: TO DEAF YOUNG POINT.PL YOUNG PRO1 OLDER PU PRO1 MUST TELL POINT.PL KNOW-NOT WHO POINTSyntactic segments: TO DEAF YOUNG POINT.PL YOUNG / PRO1 OLDER PU / PRO1 MUST TELL / POINT.PL KNOW-NOT WHO POINTTranslation: When I, a little older, meet deaf young people, I usually tell them about him, they usually do not know who he is.SSL (SSLC01_246 00:01:12.936-00:01:15.756)One utterance, two syntactic segmentsUtterance: IMPORTANT GET SIGN-LANGUAGE GRAMMAR (facial expression) EFFECTSyntactic segments: IMPORTANT GET SIGN-LANGUAGE GRAMMAR / (facial expression) / EFFECTTranslation: It is important to acquire sign language grammar, it is a wow experience and a good start.Libras (FLN_G1_D1_CONVER_Escolasurdoouvinte 00:00:01:000-00:00:10:000)One utterance, three syntactic segmentsUtterance: SCHOOL INCLUSION HARD BECAUSE THERE-IS-NO THINKING KNOW DEAF CULTURE RIGHT?Syntactic segments: SCHOOL INCLUSION HARD / BECAUSE THERE-IS-NO THINKING KNOW DEAF CULTURE / RIGHT?Translation: The inclusive school finds some difficulty, because there is no knowledge of deaf culture, isn’t it?Libras (FLN_G3_D6_CONVER_EscolasurdoouvinteOne utterance, three syntactic segmentsUtterance: POINT.PL STUDENTS HEARING TALK PRO1 DEAF DV(stay-static) HELP NOTHINGSyntactic segment: POINT.PL STUDENTS HEARING TALK / PRO1 DEAF DV(stay-static) / HELP NOTHINGTranslation: The hearing students talk to each other, while I, a deaf child, stay still observing without help (to communicate) from the others.

    The purpose of establishing the same criteria for segmentation is to make possible contrastive and comparative studies among sign languages.

  • 50.
    Mesch, Johanna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Raanes, Eli
    Sør-Trøndelag University College, Department Faculty of teacher and interpreter education, Trondheim, Norge.
    Joint attention through shared movements - analyzing deafblind signers’ expressions in dialogues2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When signing in the tactile modality, the interlocutors produce signs while holding each other's hand/s. This presentation is based on a comparative study of some specific expressions which are found in videotaped materials of conversations with Swedish and Norwegian signers with deafblindness (Mesch, 2001, Raanes, 2006). In some of the signing expressions in tactile modality, the signer uses her/his own or the other interlocutor’s hand or body part as part of the utterance. The examples point to these expressions as being part of sign language in the tactile modality when the sign refers to objects and activities.

    Two different theories are combined in this linguistic study of dialogue material in Norwegian and Swedish tactile sign language. Based on the theory of place of articulation and signing space (e.g., Engberg-Pedersen, 1993; Bergman 1990) and cognitive grammar (Fauconnier & Turner, 2002) we present a preliminary study of how joint attention is constructed. The theory of cognitive grammar is brought in to examine how the expressions are formed and how interaction builds on the input given by touch and by involving the interlocutor's body part in the constructions of tactile expressions involved (Rommetveit, 1974; Taub, 2001; Fauconnier & Turner, 2002; Liddell, 2003; Wertsch, 2003,). We discuss different approaches to describe the meaning potential in conversations in the tactile modality.

    Our findings point to principles which are as yet not well described on how language may be used and how information may be presented in tactile signing. This study considers expanding the view of possible repertoires for human use of communication and language. We discuss how cognitive grammar may be able to describe the meaning construction in two different sign languages in the tactile modality.

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