Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #signlanguages

Most recents (14)

What's happening? Ongoing imperialism and all the other systemic oppressions in #signlanguages #linguistics

Since 2020, at least three hearing scholars in Europe have been awarded substantial + prestigious grants to research the phonology and morphology of signed languages
All have purportedly benevolent intentions to advance the field, to contribute to our understanding how languages work, to promote signed languages, to facilitate comparison with spoken and written languages and many other noble causes
Some also state they want to provide opportunities for deaf PhD and postdocs, positioning themselves as allies who are sympathetic to the constant agitation for human rights for deaf signing peoples. Some have also contributed extensively to these areas.
Read 12 tweets
Cpt Hall's #PledgeofAllegiance in #AmericanSignLanguage on #InaugurationDay has rightfully seized our attention. In this thread, I want to analyse where this came from, what we can learn from it, and what we should NOT learn from it. Read more on this longish THREAD 1/20
When Cpt Hall starting signing, social media exploded with deaf people seeing fluency in her signs and wondering, as @NeilMcD did with his CODA son, if she was also a CODA. And she is! CODAs may grow up with a national sign language as one of their family languages @codaintl /2
Cpt Hall seemed to decide on her own to use #ASL (remember, sign languages are not universal- they are as distinct as spoken languages. The @WFDeaf_org estimates 200+ signed languages around the world. And only 50+ have been legally recognized.… /3
Read 21 tweets
Many thanks to @jahochcam for mobilizing us to respond to shoddy research on deaf peoples. Today, let's highlight the good researchers doing important (and solid!) work on deaf communities and sign languages. And who better to highlight today than Dr. Hochgesang?
Dr. Hochgesang has done so many interesting things! If you've seen @jahochcam present, you know she does amazingly informative and wonderfully visual presentations. Luckily for us, some of her presentations are available via video here
And @jahochcam has an exciting range of research topics on sign language documentation, sign language corpus creation, and methodological and ethical questions in sign language research. Check out her research here: #SignLanguages
Read 4 tweets
Very excited about Hope Morgan et al.'s talk on phonological (wiggle-fingers) complexity and frequency distribution! Relevant to much of my own work! #TISLR13 Image
Phonological complexity can be defined by 1) markedness (frequency/economy) and 2) structure (quantity).

Some handshapes are easier (1). Two-handed signs with simultaneous movements have more structure (2).
#TISLR13 ImageImageImage
Research question: is there a maximum limit of complexity that can be packed into a sign? #TISLR13 Image
Read 9 tweets
#DRRS2019 @jahochcam in her favorite(?) topic: the tyranny of glossing! Glosses are not accessible without a visual representation — glosses+images should be the norm! ImageImage
We may think that SL glossing is mostly a thing of the 80s, but it's still being done today. With non-transparent glosses, our documentation of #signlanguages will be lost: we cannot access the sign(ing) being described. #DRRS2019 Image
Things that can be done (from NOW🤙🤙 on):
1. Stable ID glosses
2. Link to lexical database
3. Link to original data
4. Presenting data in publications with images/videos (alongside glossing)

In the spirit of #openscience, @jahochcam also shares her slides!
#DRRS2019 Image
Read 3 tweets
@kristianali_ presenting work on name signs and tactile sign language in the Bay Islands at @SLL_Radboud Sign Pop-Up.
Many #signlanguages in the #Caribbean! 🤟🏝️ Image
In Bay Islands Sign Language, tactile signers make use of both their own hands and the addressee's hands, as well as both their own body and the addressee's body to produce and perceive the language. Such interactive modality! #signlanguages Image
Name signs in BISL are noticeably often two-handed! May be motivated by the tactile use of the language: articulation on the non-dominant hand is a salient property! #signlanguages Image
Read 4 tweets
Ardavan Guity & @jahochcam (with a pre-recorded intro) on ethics concerning language documentation of #signlanguages in #Deaf communities. #wfd2019 Image
A very interesting story here is Ardavan being involved in language documentation as an informant at first, but becoming more and more involved, gaining experience and skills along the way (by interaction, collaboration, sharing), ending up a researcher! #wfd2019
Involving the #Deaf community and individual participants is crucial. Communication, information, consent. This enriches the collaboration between researchers and informants and gives agency and empowerment to language users! #wfd2019
Read 7 tweets
@mesch_joo, @crathmann & @DLilloMartin presenting the aims and policies of the @SignLangLingSoc at #wfd2019.

Research on #signlanguages should:
- Promote and include #Deaf researchers
- Give back to the community (inform policy/lobby)
- Respect Deaf communities and diversity Image
There is tight collaboration with the WFD, who are sometimes better suited to lobby for #Deaf and #language rights to governments around the world (through national/regional associations)
Q: There are hearing researching #signlanguages without knowing how to sign, what do you think about this?
A: Increase the num of Deaf researchers and support collaborations between Deaf and hearing. Hearing researchers encouraged to sign! [signs hearing @DLilloMartin] #wfd2019 Image
Read 3 tweets
@AnneliesKusters on stage at #wfd2019 presenting on the @MobileDeaf team on International Sign (IS). IS is a phenomenon that comprises a lot of strategies in various contexts. Image
The level of conventionalization depends on context. Formal, conventionalized IS may be used at e.g. #WFD, but vocabulary and conventionalization varies with different events and contexts. #wfd2019
IS includes #translanguaging, #iconicity, and attitudes when approaching communication. The more experiences you bring, the more resources you can use when communicating. Interestingly, many outside Europe say they struggle with IS. #wfd2019 #signlanguages
Read 5 tweets
@ird2004 is giving a presentation at #wfd2019 on the history, ideologies, and current research and revitalization work among #signlanguages in the #Caribbean, specifically 🇹🇹🇨🇴🇬🇾🇭🇳. Also involved in these projects are @benbraithwaite, @rehanaomardeen and @kristianali_ Image
There are a lot of microcommunities of signers on various islands in these countries, current documentation work will establish the relationships between various #signlanguages.
These small islands are also often forgotten by their respective governments, which limits the access to language and education for these communities (more so than for the larger sign language communities). #wfd2019
Read 3 tweets
Kosovar Roma Ruva Kremers, now based in the NL, on Deaf Roma communities, ending her presentation by showing the Roma flag which "includes both Deaf and hearing Roma". #wfd2019 Image
Q: You refer to Roma Sign Language, is that a uniform language across countries or related to the local national sign language?
A: These are languages used in the community, never used in school etc, probably influenced by national #signlanguages.

I think this needs research!
There should be many many minority-within-minority sign languages/varieties around the globe 🌎🌍🌏. Members of these communities should be given training and resources to document and research! #signlanguages #wfd2019 #HumanRights
Read 3 tweets
William Herlofsky on ideophones in Japanese Sign Language. Based on the definition "marked and open class", he argues that JSL initialized signs are ideophones by productively incorporating iconic elements of a base sign with the (iconic) addition of Japanese kana forms. #ill12 Image
There was no time for my question/comment, but I would argue that the described category falls far outside the scope of ideophones. IMO, there are many signs/cxs in #signlanguages that could be argued to be ideophonic, but this is definitely not one. #ILL12
It seems too much importance has been given to the criterion of "open class", interpreted as "productive word formation". I would argue that "sensory depiction" is _less_ informative in intitialized signs than other signs... #ill12
Read 8 tweets
Out today: “The semiotic diversity of doing reference in a deaf signed language” Lindsay Ferrara @NTNU, @bananabull @hvl_no and I looked at the different strategies signers use to introduce, maintain or reintroduce humans, animals and inanimate referents..
We analysed the usual suspects (eg conventional signs, pointing, enactment) but also oft-neglected English mouthing and invisible surrogates (where a confluence of indexing actions enables signers to imagine an entity in the signing space and behave as if it were present)...
In this dataset, choice of strategy most strongly motivated by activation status: new referents expressed with more conventionalised forms (eg manual signs and English mouthing); maintained and reintroduced referents involved fewer and more improvised, context-dependent stuff...
Read 7 tweets
@ToxicMaple presenting work on iconicity in the visual modality: can gestures of hearing non-signers give us answers to cross-linguistic similarity of #signlanguages?
#SignCAFE1 Image
'whiskers' = 'cat'
'claws' = 'cat'
'walk' + 'ears' = 'cat'
*audibly meowing* = 'cat' (though excluded b/c sound ≠ sign)
@olgacapirci asking @ToxicMaple if they'll use the recorded silent gestures for e.g. comprehension studies. Fortunately, @ToxicMaple says: "That's other work in process!" So much papers to look forward to!
Read 3 tweets

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