BSL archive available to all online

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Project Director Dr Kearsy Cormier.

A unique collection of language recordings of British Sign Language (BSL) is now available online.

Under the supervision of staff at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) at UCL, the video recordings have been collected as part of the BSL Corpus Project, which aims to help students and teachers of BSL, and improve sign language interpreting across the country.

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 eight cities across the UK to reflect regional variation within BSL.

In addition to practical applications in the UK, the team hope that the video data will contribute to international linguistics research and prove to be a useful resource for those working towards automatic sign language recognition (the signed equivalent of voice recognition) and the development of “virtual signers”.

The Project should provide insight into how BSL is changing, the frequency of BSL signs and 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”, says Project Director Dr Kearsy Cormier.

The video clips are available for all to watch at:
www.bslcorpusproject.org

SEN News Team
Author: SEN News Team

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