Goals

Online grammars  
Creation of online grammars of 6 sign languages

GOAL:

While various dictionaries have been created, reflecting national and local variants, comprehensive (or even basic) grammars are still lacking even for major sign languages used in Europe.

We aim at implementing the SignGram Blueprint (outcome of COST Action IS1006, link: https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/467598) to produce online comprehensive grammars of six sign languages. Each grammar will cover the core properties of phonology, lexicon, morphology, syntax and semantics/pragmatics. All six online grammars will have the same general structure and will be implemented on the same digital platform.

SIGN LANGUAGES INVOLVED:

Online grammars for the following sign languages will be written:

  • German Sign Language (DGS)
  • Catalan Sign Language (LSC)
  • Spanish Sign Language (LSE)
  • Italian Sign Language (LIS)
  • Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT)
  • Turkish Sign Language (TID)

LEAD PARTNERS:

  • Meltem Kelepir, Bogaziçi Universitesi (Turkey)
  • Josep Quer, Universidad Pompeu Fabra (Spain)

Atlas of sign languages  
Construction of a sign language Atlas

GOAL:

The Atlas of sign languages will fill an important gap in typological research, since a full understanding of correlations, universals, and range of typological variation in natural languages can only be achieved if both modalities are investigated thoroughly.
Based on our work on online grammars for sign languages, we will build a web interface that will allow to display the content of the online grammars in an “atlas format”, including a search engine and interactive maps.

SIGN LANGUAGES INVOLVED:

The Atlas will directly be based on the six online grammars (cf. above) because they already include all features relevant for the description of typological variation.
At a later stage of the project, the Atlas will be extended by including current knowledge on other sign languages as well.

LEAD PARTNERS:

  • Markus Steinbach, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen Stiftung Öffentlichen Rechts (Germany)
  • Jana Hosemann, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen Stiftung Öffentlichen Rechts (Germany)

Assessment tools  
Development of tools for sign language assessment

GOAL:

The peculiar conditions under which sign languages are often acquired, namely, the lack of a native deaf signer model during the sensitive period of language acquisition, pose special challenges to the diagnosis of linguistic deficits in special populations (e.g., children with Specific Language Impairment, people with aphasia and elderly people for whom the effect of aging is not always easy to disentangle from very early stages of neurodegenerative diseases).
We aim at building reliable tests to diagnose language pathology and to facilitate intervention with special populations of signers.
The interface implementation will allow administering the tests both on computers and mobile devices (e.g. tablets).

SIGN LANGUAGES INVOLVED:

Assessment tools for the following sign languages will be developed:

  • Italian Sign Language (LIS)
  • French Sign Language (LSF)
  • Israeli Sign Language (ISL)
  • Catalan Sign Language (LSC)
  • Spanish Sign Language (LSE)

LEAD PARTNERS:

  • Caterina Donati, Université Paris Diderot, Paris 7 (France)
  • Naama Friedmann, Tel Aviv University (Israel)

Cultural heritage  
Creation of a digital archive of elderly signers’ linguistic and cultural heritage

GOAL:

An important part of SIGN-HUB is documenting and preserving part of the European linguistic and cultural heritage by creating, analyzing and making available a digital archive of life narratives of elderly signers about their individual and collective memories in different European Deaf communities.
This archive will constitute an unprecedented stepping stone towards the documentation of the history of Deaf communities since the mid-20th century and the language change attested from that generation on.

SIGN LANGUAGES INVOLVED:

We will systematically record, document, analyze, make available online the linguistic uses as well as the cultural heritage and historical memories of elderly deaf people using the following sign languages:

  • German Sign Language (DGS)
  • Italian Sign Language (LIS)
  • Catalan Sign Language (LSC)
  • Spanish Sign Language (LSE)
  • Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT)
  • Turkish Sign Language (TID)

Moreover, we will digitalize and/or extend existing archives of deaf signers using the following sign languages:

  • Israeli Sign Language (ISL)
  • French Sign Language (LSF)

LEAD PARTNER:

  • Roland Pfau, Universiteit van Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

Digital platform  
Creation of a platform that hosts the contents generated in the project

GOAL:

The primary goal of the digital platform is to host the varieties of contents that are created within the SIGN-HUB project.
Users will easily access such contents through customized interfaces.
Contents in the format of videos, text and images are to be made accessible online in various ways (webpages, archives and streaming).

LEAD PARTNER:

  • Mauro Pezzè, Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per l'Informatica (Italy)