Signed Language Corpora

Edited by Jordan Fenlon & Julie A. Hochgesang
Foreword by Trevor Johnston

Categories: Linguistics
Series: Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities
Imprint: Gallaudet University Press
Hardcover : 9781954622050, 252 pages, July 2022
Ebook : 9781954622067, 251 pages, June 2022
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This is the first volume to provide a comprehensive overview of the creation, development, and use of signed language corpora.



Jordan Fenlon and Julie A. Hochgesang present a revolutionary contribution to the field of signed language linguistics with Signed Language Corpora, the first volume to provide a comprehensive overview of the creation, development, and use of signed language corpora. This work will advance discussions on corpus linguistics as a methodology and its place in signed language linguistics research.

       The ability to search corpora to obtain information about the frequency of patterns in language is an important step forward for signed language research. Access to large datasets will expand scholarly understandings of signed language structure in ways never before possible. Through reflective discussions on the processes of creating, using, and utilizing corpora, the editors and contributors hope that other linguists will be inspired to take similar steps. The descriptions provided in this book have been written to provide a framework for those eager to develop or make use of signed language corpora for their respective signed language varieties. Creating signed language corpora is significant not only for linguistic research, but for the long-term preservation of collected texts that include the stories and histories of signed language communities.

       Additional areas of focus include the use of signed language corpora in applied settings, the ethics of working with signed language communities, and the future of this methodology in research.


Julie A. Hochgesang is an associate professor of linguistics at Gallaudet University. She is a deaf* linguist who specializes in phonetics and phonology of signed languages, fieldwork, documentation, corpora of signed languages, and the ethics of working with signed language communities. Hochgesang also works towards making linguistics accessible to communities, especially ASL communities, sharing multimodal products via social media and digital repositories.

*white, sighted, hearing family, early signer, cisgender

Jordan Fenlon is a deaf linguist who completed his PhD at University College London in 2010, and went on to work as a postdoctoral researcher for the British Sign Language Corpus project, the first project of its kind in the United Kingdom. His research, which focuses on the sociolinguistics of signed languages using corpora, has been published in journals such as Language and Glossa. He has taught linguistics at University College London, Gallaudet University, University of Chicago, and Heriot-Watt University.