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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.
    Balkstam, Eira
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Fonologisk utveckling i det svenska teckenspråket hos hörande andraspråksinlärare: Identifiering av aspekter, tecken och en- och tvåhandstecken2018Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    In this study, the phonological development of hearing L2 learners has been investigated with regard to their ability to identify a sign's aspect structure, both partially and as a whole, and one- vs. two-handed signs. The results were compared to a control group of deaf first language speakers of Swedish sign language. There has previously been a limited number of studies focusing on the identification of signs. For this reason, a task that required no previous knowledge of Swedish Sign Language or linguistics was created for this study. The study is based on data from a quantitative and longitudinal investigation. In the identification of aspects, it is shown that place of articulation was the easiest to identify for both groups, followed by articulator, and lastly articulation, which was the most difficult to identify correctly. The L2 group performed better and could identify a higher number of correct lexical signs than the L1 group. However, both groups scored low results. A possible reason for this is that the test template is not explicit enough about articulation as a aspect. When identifying one- and two-handed signs, it is shown that one-handed signs are easier to identify than two-handed signs, across both groups. This corroborates previous research that shows that two-handed signs are phonologically and cognitively more complex than one-handed signs. Further research with a larger number of participants is encouraged in order to investigate other potentially influencing factors.

  • 3.
    Bergman, Brita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Barns tidiga teckenspråksutveckling: med illustrationer av Lena Johansmide2012Report (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Bergman, Brita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    On Motivated Signs in the Swedish Sign Language.1978In: Studia Linguistica, ISSN 0039-3193, E-ISSN 1467-9582, Vol. XXXII, no I-II, p. 9-17Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Bergman, Brita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Signed Swedish1979Book (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Bergman, Brita
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Björkstrand, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Teckentranskription2015Report (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Björkstrand, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Ryttervik, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Tecken inom idrott2011Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 8.
    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)
  • 9. 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)
  • 10.
    Börstell, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Grammatisk finithet i trumaí2008Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Traditionellt har tempusböjning och person-/numeruskongruens på verb varit de starkaste kriterierna för finithet. Det har dock visat sig vara svårapplicerade kriterier för många språk och finithet på satsnivå – huruvida en sats är självständig eller ej – har blivit en viktig fråga för definitionen.

    Uppsatsen syftar till att beskriva och analysera finithetsfenomenet utifrån språket trumaí.

    Det tycks finnas flera fenomen som är tecken på en finithetsdistinktion i trumaí, framför allt -n/-e-klitikan som markerar 3Abs på verbet vid absolutivargumentets frånvaro, samt FT-partiklarna som har en tempusfunktion. För imperativ verkar det vara så att imperativpartiklarna har en intern distribution baserad på person och animathet hos absolutivargumentet, vilket kan tolkas som att det finns en argumentkongruens frikopplad från den semantiska inkorporeringen av andraperson som subjekt. Gällande finithet på satsnivå finns det i trumaí både finita och infinita satser som kan fungera som bisatser. I strukturer där verbet beter sig prototypiskt är satsen finit, medan andra strukturers verb tycks ha rört sig mot att bete sig nominellt, varpå satsen fungerar annorlunda och är infinit.

  • 11.
    Börstell, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Här är 4 procent av invånarna döva2013In: Dövas tidning, ISSN 1402-1978, Vol. 4, p. 13-13Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 12.
    Börstell, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Härmed tecknar jag dig ...2017In: Språktidningen, ISSN 1654-5028, no 7, p. 52-57Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 13.
    Börstell, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Object marking in the signed modality: Verbal and nominal strategies in Swedish Sign Language and other sign languages2017In: Sign Language and Linguistics, ISSN 1387-9316, E-ISSN 1569-996X, Vol. 20, no 2, p. 279-287Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Börstell, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Persontecken avslöjar vilka vi är2017In: Dövas tidning, ISSN 1402-1978, Vol. 3, p. 7-7Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 15.
    Börstell, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Pfau, Roland, Markus Steinbach & Annika Herrmann (eds.), A matter of complexity: Subordination in sign languages2016In: Nordic Journal of Linguistics, ISSN 0332-5865, E-ISSN 1502-4717, Vol. 39, no 3, p. 311-317Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Börstell, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Types and trends of name signs in the Swedish Sign Language community2017In: SKY Journal of Linguistics, ISSN 1456-8438, E-ISSN 1796-279X, Vol. 30, p. 7-34Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates the domain of name signs (i.e., signs used as personal names) in the Swedish Sign Language (SSL) community. The data are based on responses from an online questionnaire, in which Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing participants answered questions about the nature of their name signs. The collected questionnaire data comprise 737 name signs, distributed across five main types and 24 subtypes of name signs, following the categorization of previous work on SSL. Signs are grouped according to sociolinguistic variables such as age, gender, and identity (e.g., Deaf or hearing), as well as the relationship between name giver and named (e.g., family or friends). The results show that name signs are assigned at different ages between the groups, such that children of Deaf parents are named earlier than other groups, and that Deaf and hard of hearing individuals are normally named during their school years. It is found that the distribution of name sign types is significantly different between females and males, with females more often having signs denoting physical appearance, whereas males have signs related to personality/behavior. Furthermore, it is shown that the distribution of sign types has changed over time, with appearance signs losing ground to personality/behavior signs – most clearly for Deaf females. Finally, there is a marginally significant difference in the distribution of sign types based on whether or not the name giver was Deaf. The study is the first to investigate name signs and naming customs in the SSL community statistically – synchronically and diachronically – and one of the few to do so for any sign language.

  • 17.
    Börstell, Carl
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Östling, Robert
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Computational Linguistics.
    Distribution and duration of signs and parts of speech in Swedish Sign Language2016In: Sign Language and Linguistics, ISSN 1387-9316, E-ISSN 1569-996X, Vol. 19, no 2, p. 143-196Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we investigate frequency and duration of signs and parts of speech in Swedish Sign Language (SSL) using the SSL Corpus. The duration of signs is correlated with frequency, with high-frequency items having shorter duration than low-frequency items. Similarly, function words (e.g. pronouns) have shorter duration than content words (e.g. nouns). In compounds, forms annotated as reduced display shorter duration. Fingerspelling duration correlates with word length of corresponding Swedish words, and frequency and word length play a role in the lexicalization of fingerspellings. The sign distribution in the SSL Corpus shows a great deal of cross-linguistic similarity with other sign languages in terms of which signs appear as high-frequency items, and which categories of signs are distributed across text types (e.g. conversation vs. narrative). We find a correlation between an increase in age and longer mean sign duration, but see no significant difference in sign duration between genders.

  • 18.
    Börstell, Carl
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Jantunen, Tommi
    University of Jyväskylä.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Kimmelman, Vadim
    University of Amsterdam.
    Oomen, Marloes
    University of Amsterdam.
    de Lint, Vanja
    University of Amsterdam.
    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.

    References Bergman, Brita & Elisabeth Engberg-Pedersen. 2010. Transmission of sign languages in the Nordic countries. In Diane Brentari (ed.), Sign languages: A Cambridge language survey, 74–94. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Hartmann, Iren, Martin Haspelmath & Taylor Bradley (eds.). 2013. Valency Patterns Leipzig. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. http://valpal.info/. Haspelmath, Martin. 2015. Transitivity prominence. In Andrej Malchukov & Bernard Comrie (eds.), Valency classes in the world’s languages: Vol 1 - Introducing the framework, and case studies from Africa and Eurasia, 131–148. Boston, MA: De Gruyter Mouton. Hopper, Paul J. & Sandra A. Thompson. 1980. Transitivity in grammar and discourse. Language 56(2). 251–299. Kimmelman, Vadim. 2016. Transitivity in RSL: A corpus-based account. In Eleni Efthimiou, Stavroula-Evita Fotinea, Thomas Hanke, Julie Hochgesang, Jette Kristoffersen & Johanna Mesch (eds.), Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Corpus Mining, 117–120. Paris: European Language Resources Association (ELRA). Tsunoda, Tasaku. 1985. Remarks on transitivity. Journal of Linguistics 21(2). 385. doi:10.1017/S0022226700010318.

  • 19.
    Börstell, Carl
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Lepic, Ryan
    Commentary on Kita, van Gijn & van der Hulst (1998)2014In: Sign Language and Linguistics, ISSN 1387-9316, E-ISSN 1569-996X, Vol. 17, no 2, p. 241-250Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 20.
    Börstell, Carl
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Lepic, Ryan
    Belsitzman, Gal
    Articulatory plurality is a property of lexical plurals in sign language2016In: Lingvisticæ investigationes, ISSN 0378-4169, E-ISSN 1569-9927, Vol. 39, no 2, p. 391-407Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sign languages make use of paired articulators (the two hands), hence manual signs may be either one- or two-handed. Although two-handedness has previously been regarded a purely formal feature, studies have argued morphologically two-handed forms are associated with some types of inflectional plurality. Moreover, recent studies across sign languages have demonstrated that even lexically two-handed signs share certain semantic properties. In this study, we investigate lexically plural concepts in ten different sign languages, distributed across five sign language families, and demonstrate that such concepts are preferentially represented with two-handed forms, across all the languages in our sample. We argue that this is because the signed modality with its paired articulators enables the languages to iconically represent conceptually plural meanings.

  • 21.
    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.

  • 22.
    Börstell, Carl
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Sandler, Wendy
    Aronoff, Mark
    Sign Language Linguistics2014In: Oxford Bibliographies, Oxford University Press, 2014Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 23.
    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.

  • 24.
    Börstell, Carl
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Östling, Robert
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Computational Linguistics.
    Iconic Locations in Swedish Sign Language: Mapping Form to Meaning with Lexical Databases2017In: Proceedings of the 21st Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics, NoDaLiDa / [ed] Jörg Tiedemann, Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2017, p. 221-225, article id 026Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we describe a method for mapping the phonological feature location of Swedish Sign Language (SSL) signs to the meanings in the Swedish semantic dictionary SALDO. By doing so, we observe clear differences in the distribution of meanings associated with different locations on the body. The prominence of certain locations for specific meanings clearly point to iconic mappings between form and meaning in the lexicon of SSL, which pinpoints modalityspecific properties of the visual modality.

  • 25.
    Börstell, Carl
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Östling, Robert
    University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Visualizing Lects in a Sign Language Corpus: Mining Lexical Variation Data in Lects of Swedish Sign Language2016In: 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. 13-18Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we discuss the possibilities for mining lexical variation data across (potential) lects in Swedish Sign Language (SSL). The data come from the SSL Corpus (SSLC), a continuously expanding corpus of SSL, its latest release containing 43 307 annotated sign tokens, distributed over 42 signers and 75 time-aligned video and annotation files. After extracting the raw data from the SSLC annotation files, we created a database for investigating lexical distribution/variation across three possible lects, by merging the raw data with an external metadata file, containing information about the age, gender, and regional background of each of the 42 signers in the corpus. We go on to present a first version of an easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI) that can be used as a tool for investigating lexical variation across different lects, and demonstrate a few interesting finds. This tool makes it easier for researchers and non-researchers alike to have the corpus frequencies for individual signs visualized in an instant, and the tool can easily be updated with future expansions of the SSLC.

  • 26.
    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.

  • 27.
    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.

  • 28. 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.

  • 29. 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.

  • 30. 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, 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.

  • 31. Lepic, Ryan
    et al.
    Börstell, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Belsitzman, Gal
    Sandler, Wendy
    Taking meaning in hand: Iconic motivations in two-handed signs2016In: Sign Language and Linguistics, ISSN 1387-9316, E-ISSN 1569-996X, Vol. 19, no 1, p. 37-81Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Traditionally in sign language research, the issue of whether a lexical sign is articulated with one hand or two has been treated as a strictly phonological matter. We argue that accounting for two-handed signs also requires considering meaning as a motivating factor. We report results from a Swadesh list comparison, an analysis of semantic patterns among two-handed signs, and a picture-naming task. Comparing four unrelated languages, we demonstrate that the two hands are recruited to encode various relationship types in sign language lexicons. We develop the general principle that inherently "plural" concepts are straightforwardly mapped onto our paired human hands, resulting in systematic use of the two hands across sign languages. In our analysis, "plurality" subsumes four primary relationship types — interaction, location, dimension, and composition — and we predict that signs with meanings that encompass these relationships — such as 'meet', 'empty', 'large', or 'machine' — will preferentially be two-handed in any sign language.

  • 32. Meir, Irit
    et al.
    Aronoff, Mark
    Börstell, Carl
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Hwang, So-One
    Ilkbasaran, Deniz
    Kastner, Itamar
    Lepic, Ryan
    Lifshitz Ben-Basat, Adi
    Padden, Carol
    Sandler, Wendy
    The effect of being human and the basis of grammatical word order: Insights from novel communication systems and young sign languages2017In: Cognition, ISSN 0010-0277, E-ISSN 1873-7838, Vol. 158, p. 189-207Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study identifies a central factor that gives rise to the different word orders found in the world’s languages. In the last decade, a new window on this long-standing question has been provided by data from young sign languages and invented gesture systems. Previous work has assumed that word order in both invented gesture systems and young sign languages is driven by the need to encode the semantic/syntactic roles of the verb’s arguments. Based on the responses of six groups of participants, three groups of hearing participants who invented a gestural system on the spot, and three groups of signers of relatively young sign languages, we identify a major factor in determining word order in the production of utterances in novel and young communication systems, not suggested by previous accounts, namely the salience of the arguments in terms of their human/animacy properties: human arguments are introduced before inanimate arguments (‘human first’). This conclusion is based on the difference in word order patterns found between responses to depicted simple events that vary as to whether both subject and object are human or whether the subject is human and the object inanimate. We argue that these differential patterns can be accounted for uniformly by the ‘human first’ principle. Our analysis accounts for the prevalence of SOV order in clauses with an inanimate object in all groups (replicating results of previous separate studies of deaf signers and hearing gesturers) and the prevalence of both SOV and OSV in clauses with a human object elicited from the three groups of participants who have the least interference from another linguistic system (nonliterate deaf signers who have had little or no exposure to another language). It also provides an explanation for the basic status of SOV order suggested by other studies, as well as the scarcity of the OSV order in languages of the world, despite its appearance in novel communication systems. The broadest implication of this study is that the basic cognitive distinction between humans and inanimate entities is a crucial factor in setting the wheels of word ordering in motion.

  • 33.
    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.))
  • 34.
    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.))
  • 35.
    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.

  • 36.
    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)
  • 37.
    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)
  • 38.
    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.

  • 39.
    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.))
  • 40.
    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)
  • 41.
    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)
  • 42.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language Section.
    Sex och samlevnad2007Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 43.
    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)
  • 44.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Svensk teckenspråkskorpus - dess tillkomst och uppbyggnad2015Report (Other academic)
  • 45.
    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)
  • 46.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    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.

  • 47.
    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.

  • 48.
    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.

  • 49.
    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)
  • 50.
    Mesch, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Teckenspråkets framtid2018Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
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