The overall purpose of the Swedish Sign Language Corpus Project is to publish an accessible collection of sign language discourses, a ‘corpus’. It will give an accurate impression of what Swedish Sign Language sentences look like, and contribute new signs and variants of signs to the Swedish Sign Language Dictionary on the web. Making Swedish Sign Language discourses accessible on-line opens up the possibility of the corpus being used to develop teaching materials for Swedish Sign Language, and it will offer an opportunity to show or analyse a sign, some sentences, or a whole discourse when teaching sign language.

Corpus-based studies will be of major importance to future research in sign linguistics, making it possible to analyse Swedish Sign Language grammar, and also to other research areas such as sociolinguistic studies, historical studies, translation studies and cultural studies of sign language.

The Swedish Sign Language Corpus Project was financed by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation (In2008-0276-IK) during 2009-2011. During this time, recordings of 42 informants aged between 20 and 82 from different regions in Sweden were made. The recordings consist of a number of free conversations and storytelling, as well as retellings of “Frog, where are you?” and “The Snow Man”, some comic strips and comedies.

The recorded material was annotated and transcribed with (Swedish) glosses and a translation into Swedish, using the annotation tool ELAN, downloaded from the website of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen. This tool is used for annotation of recorded materials and for linking transcriptions to digitalised video and audio materials.

There is still a lot of work to be done, mainly because of the annotation work being very time consuming. For the latest version of our annotation conventions for the corpus, please visit our publication page.

The corpus project is carried out at the Sign language Section at the Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University, with funding from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (In2008-0276-IK).

Principal investigator: Johanna Mesch
Co-workers: Brita Bergman, Anna-Lena Nilsson, Lars Wallin and Joel Bäckström