South Sudan Sign Language Dictionary Project
Leiden University acts as a consultant for a Light for the World project aiming for a sign language dictionary for South Sudan. More information click here.
MA-thesis Kidane Admasu
The main purpose of the study is to investigate and describe the compound word/sign formation processes in Ethiopian Sign Language (hereafter EthSL). There are different kinds of word/sign formation processes in languages but this study only focuses on word formation of the compounding type. The study was conducted in Addis Ababa where 6 (3 male and 3 female) deaf native signers have participated who were purposively selected. The main data collecting method used for the study was elicitation/video recording. The EthSL dictionary was also consulted as source of data. The data were presented and interpreted in the descriptive fashion.
The findings showed that compounding is one of the word/sign formation processes in EthSL. Compounding creates new word/sign units by combining two (or more) simple words of the same and/or different lexical categories. These compounds fulfill the criteria applied to other sign languages such as American Sign Language (ASL), British Sign Language (BSL) and Israel Sign Language (ISL).
Out of 1321 list of sign entries in EthSL dictionary, 42 are compound signs. There are also other compound signs used by deaf signers that are not found in EthSL dictionary. Most EthSL compounds are not found in counterpart spoken languages, for instance, Amharic. EthSL compounds are seen as sequential and/or simultaneous in their formation. There are also three types of compounds: endocentric (of which one is a head), exocentric (neither of constituents is a head, meaning is not predictable and coordinate (each of the constituents is a head and both contribute the meaning of the compound). Like compounds of other sign languages, EthSL compounds also display word-like characteristics and in many cases they are not transparent in their word formation processes. EthSL compounds also involve different formation changes in their formational process.
The role of hearing signers in the use of iconic structures in sign languages
(NWO, VENI) 2012-2016.
Project leader: Victoria Nyst
language contact as a result. Like AdaSL, the three sign languages have arisen in West Africa outside the context of deaf education, and as such form a group of severely understudied sign languages. Data for these languages are available in online corpora (Nyst et al. forthcoming a,b). For each language, those grammatical and phonological features will be analyzed that set AdaSL and emerging sign languages apart from sign languages of large deaf communities. Subsequently, I will investigate to what extent:
- there is a correlation between the grammatical and phonological aspects analyzed.
- structural patterns in the languages can be interpreted in the light of their sociolinguistic settings, in particular the language contact situation.
Documentation and description of the Tabora variety of Tanzanian Sign Language
Documentation and description of sign language in Côte d’Ivoire
Individual Graduate Studentship. Duration: 2010-2013. Funded by ELDP.
Project leader: Tano Angoua Jean-Jacques
Like in several countries in West Africa, at least two sign languages are used in Ivory Coast. American Sign Language (ASL) is used in Deaf education and by educated Deaf adults. Deaf people with no formal schooling use various forms of Ivorian Sign Language. ASL is spreading in the Ivorian Deaf community at the cost of Ivorian Sign Language or Langue des Signes de Côte d’Ivoire (LSCI). This project will carry out the documentation and analysis of LSCI. It will include a digital corpus that features a representative sample of signed discourse, a lexical database and a description and analysis of selected features of the language.
Documentation and Analysis of West African Sign Languages
Project data (closed)
|Full title||Documentation and analysis of West-African sign languages|
|Nature||EuroBABEL (ESF EUROCORES Program)|
|Project leader||Victoria Nyst|
|Project members||Shane Gilchrist, BA
Wouter Bolier, MA
Documentation and description of Langue des Signes Malienne
Project data (closed)
|Full title||Documentation and description of Langue des Signes Malienne|
For more information, click here
Descriptive analysis of Adamorobe Sign Language
Variation in handshapes in Ugandan Sign Language