- Current DCAL Newsletter available in BSL
- Special Focus: What is it like to be a postgraduate at DCAL?
- Are you interested in postgraduate study at DCAL?
- Talking about Bilingualism
- BSL Corpus Project goes online
- DCAL's Tales from the Road
- Update on Deaf with Dementia Project
- DCAL working with the Cognitive Disorders Clinic
- Sharing Research - Iconicity and Embodiment on Tour
- Get involved in DCAL's research!
- DCAL research features in Lancet editorial
- BSL Corpus Project featured on The Hub
- BSL Grammaticality Judgement Task Paper accepted for publication in journal Cognition
- Frances Elton gets BDA award in recognition of her contribution to BSL and Sign Linguistics teaching
- New DCAL Briefing Sheet available on Dementia
- Early sign language exposure benefits deaf children
- See Hear Feature Deaf with Dementia Project October 17th
- Outreach activity at Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children
- DCAL's Response to Guardian article "Signs of the times: Deaf community minds its language"
- See Hear item on Deaf with dementia
- New DCAL-associated research project - Describing sociolinguistic variation in verb directionality in British Sign Language: A corpus-based study, funded by ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative
- DCAL responds to Harry Knoors weblog
- New leaflet about research targeted at the older deaf community
- The Association for Physiological Sciences publishes DCAL research in Psychological Science
- Society Now features an article by researcher Dr Joanna Atkinson 'Voices inside my head'
- The Guardian publishes correction about BSL Corpus Project story
- Robert Adam is the first person in the UK to be both a registered Interpreter and a registered Translator on the NRCPD
- New MSc in Language Sciences with specialisation in Sign Language Studies: NOW RECRUITING for 2013/2014
- Researchers in Language and Cognition present their work at a conference in Lisbon
- NDCS offering free two-day training courses to utilise Family Sign Language Toolkit
- Programme for TISLR 2013 available on the webpage NOW!
- Neuroscience: How the brain adapts to deafness
- Professor Adam Kendon to become Honorary Emeritus Professor and DCAL Associate
- New MSc in Language Sciences with specialisation in Sign Language Studies NOW RECRUITING for2013/2014
- BSL Grammaticality Judgement paper ranked in Top 25 Hottest Articles
- DCAL and AoHL call for the National Dementia Strategy for England to be reviewed to ensure that funding is provided to meet the needs of people who are deaf or have hearing loss and also have dementia
- DCAL Nominated for the Signature Organisation of the Year Award
- British Deaf Association honours DCAL researcher
- DCAL director receives prestigious award
- ESRC Future Leader Fellowships for DCAL researchers
- DCAL's advocacy work with UK politicians
- DCAL research on voice hallucinations features in the Lancet
- Deaf Children and Development
- Early sign language exposure benefits deaf children
- Read my lips - Advances in speechreading research with deaf children
- 'What do you think the girl wants from Father Christmas?' Theory of Mind research with deaf infants
- DCAL briefing on the need for specialist national neurology services for deaf people
- DCAL features on See Hear with clip of BSL from 1920s
- New Dates for Sign Linguistics Course for Deaf Professionals
- Frances Elton's Retirement Seminar
- History of BSL Online
- Media Release
- Media Release
- Media Release
- Cochlear Implants and Sign Language:
- Digging into Signs
- Language isn't what it used to be (British Sign Language - that is)
- Discover UCL summer school for D/deaf and hard of hearing students
- New living dictionary for British Sign Language
- Specialist neurological clinic for deaf people cost benefit model
- Media Release: Dementia payments for GPs will do nothing to improve diagnosis rates of deaf patients
- Discover UCL Summer School organised by DCAL and UCL's Widening Participation team wins the HELOA 2015 Best Practice and Innovation Award
- Launch of Continuing Professional Development Courses
- Media Release: "Clarity still required" on future of dementia services for BSL patients
BSL Corpus Project goes online
26 February 2012
Unique BSL resource becomes available to all online
important development has been made in a project that will be familiar
to many DCAL newsletter readers from updates over the last few years:
DCAL is pleased to announce that data from the British Sign Language
Corpus Project (BSLCP) can now be accessed by all, having gone live
on-line at the end of 2011.
BSL language recordings
Available at the BSL Corpus Project website,
this resource will continue to develop to become the first national
computerised and publicly accessible BSL corpus - that is a unique
collection of language recordings of British Sign Language. The
recordings will be of enormous benefit to students and teachers of BSL
and to sign language interpreters across the country, leading to
improved services for Deaf people that will better ensure their full
participation in society.
The BSLCP was funded from 2008 to 2011 by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and led by staff at DCAL. Project partners are from Bangor University (Wales), Heriot-Watt University (Scotland), Queens University Belfast (Northern Ireland) and the University of Bristol (England).
The collection of video recordings shows 249 Deaf men and women of different ages and backgrounds conversing in BSL with each other in pairs. They answer questions, tell stories, and show their signs for 102 key concepts. The filming took place in 8 cities across the UK to reflect regional variation within BSL.
Anyone can watch the video clips under the data section of the website. For general visitors, clicking on the image on the left is recommended. Those with a research or teaching interest can access more information via the image on the right. This takes visitors to UCL’s CAVA website where anyone can view or download clips, and where researchers can register for a licence to access restricted data.
addition to practical applications in the UK, the web-based corpus
video data is set to contribute significantly to international
linguistics research. It will also be a valuable resource for people
with an interest in technology, particularly those working towards
automatic sign language recognition (the signed equivalent of voice
recognition) and the development of virtual signers i.e., signing
Current BSLCP Director, Dr Kearsy Cormier, explains: “We are very pleased that the BSL corpus video data are now freely available worldwide; this was one of the main aims of the project, but the work is by no means completed. In the future, annotations and translations of the data will be made available online to bring this resource closer to what we mean by a “corpus” today in linguistic research. These annotations will allow anyone to search for specific signs quickly and facilitate peer-reviews of claims about BSL structure and use amongst researchers.
Another aim was to use the data to study why BSL varies and how it is changing, and to investigate frequency of BSL signs – that is to find out which signs are the most common in conversation. These completed studies represent an important first step towards a better understanding of variation and change and lexical frequency in BSL.”
Former BSLCP Project Director, Dr. Adam Schembri (now based at LaTrobe University, Australia) explains further: “We expect the BSLCP will contribute to wider research in the field of linguistics worldwide. Internationally the BSL Corpus is one of only a few large sign language corpus projects (along with projects in Australia, The Netherlands and Germany) and it’s the second to have video data available online (after The Netherlands).”
Professor Bencie Woll, DCAL Director, expands on the significance of the work: “DCAL hopes the BSLCP video data will lead directly to improved sign language teaching and improvements in training BSL teachers, sign language interpreters and teachers of deaf children. But the BSLCP findings have the potential for much broader impact. Already there are follow-on projects in DCAL making use of the data, which are helping to extend ongoing work on production, comprehension, processing, acquisition and neural bases of BSL.”
PHOTO: Dr Adam Schembri (right) and Dr Jordan Fenlon
show the BSL Corpus Project data to colleagues
and members of the Deaf community at the
DCAL Deaf Open Day, March 2010.