Tid: Onsdag 14 oktober 2015, kl. 15:00–16:30
Plats: C397, Södra huset, Frescati

Föreläsningen hålls på engelska och teckenspråkstolkar finns.
Postseminarium följer direkt efter seminariet i institutionens pentry.


Indian Sign Language (ISL) using community is reportedly quite large, unremunerated group as per the research of Deaf research scholar (1974). Lots of efforts were made to create sign language dictionary by AYJNIHH, Mumbai and signed English by Mrs. Prabha Ghate since 1989 under a UNESCO project. This met with failure due to non-acceptance by the Deaf community for arbitrary decisions on signs by the hearing community. In the Indian context, for many years, till 2001 one could hear slogans like ‘India has varieties of Sign Language and its needs standardization’ and needs technologically organized corpus of sign language. Being a large Asian country of global south, it lacked manpower and the technology backup to establish itself as a unique language. It was Ulrike Zeshan (2000), a German Linguistic research scholar, who found and established the fact the Indian Sign Language was a unique Sign Language among other Sign Languages in the world and stated in her research, that it was part of Indo-Pakistan Sign Language (IPSL) used among the community of the Deaf in India, Nepal and Pakistan in Urban setup. In 2001 under the leadership of Ulrike initiatives were taken by AYJNIHH-Mumbai, India to address the problems and the need of the Deaf community, began a short term training program in ISL for the Deaf and Hearing. ISL has its own grammar and syntax and all the qualities of a language. However it does lack its linguistic validity in many respects. The linguistic variations in ISL is quite common due to its influence by BSL and ASL. Needless to say the multi-linguistic demographic scenario and immigration of population from one country to another has explicitly widened this linguistic variations in ISL. Hence there is a need for a linguistic validation of ISL corpus which is based on research and linguistic methods. Faculty of Disability Management and Special Education (FDMSE) and Sign Language Unit at Coimbatore started the work of ISL corpus creation and its validation, with the help of Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL). The work began at CIIL Mysore India in 2005 and is under progress.

Linguistic validation methods for ISL is based on vocabulary (Gloss-signs), its usage at phrase and sentence level. Linguistic validation of ISL is done through a unique, objective method of forward and reverse validation using technology for its objective testing. In the process of validation, needless to say both persons who uses ISL hearing and without hearing (Deaf) will participate at various levels. Here the Deaf ISL users play a vital role in testing and re-testing the signs in the already existing corpus. It is expected that this will result in a linguistic validated corpus of ISL which will continue to grow and develop in its unique lexical and semantic applications in the community following a uniform linguistic structure. Recent development is that, Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre initiated by AYJNIHH-Mumbai in 2009 is given an autonomous status by Govt. Of India on 23rd Sept.2015. This will enable the research in ISL at a faster and higher level with adequate funds.

Johanna Mesch