Corpora & archives

In the last years, the sign lab Göttingen has built two different kinds of DGS corpora, a (1) fable corpus and a (2) corpus with interviews we have conducted with elderly deaf people in Germany. In addition, Rehana Omardeen created an (3) archive for Providence Island Sign Language (PISL) during her time as a PhD student in our team. We also conducted a study on (4) psycholinguistic norms for more than 300 lexical signs together with colleagues from the Max-Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig.

(1) The fable corpus contains DGS versions of five Aesop fables signed by five DGS signers. The fables are all annotated with ELAN and have already been used intensively for research on role shift, perspective, expressive meaning and narrative structures.

(2) The interview corpus contains 45 guided interviews with deaf seniors, who were over 70 years old at the time of the interview. The interviews are a unique historical and cultural document that provides new insights into the life of deaf people in East and West Germany during and after the Second World War. A basic annotation (in ELAN) is now available for five of the 45 interviews. The interviews have already be used for various projects and publications on the life stories of elderly deaf people. They are also part of the European documentary movie "We were there ... we are here".

(3) The PISL corpus is a collection of spontaneous and elicited data from deaf and hearing signers of Providence Island. The data was collected by Rehana Omardeen and Ian Dhanoolal with help from members of the language community. The collection includes freely available video data accompanied by translations into the local spoken languages as well as a lexical database containing signs from PISL. More information can be found here.

(4) Because the compilation of sign language corpora is a complex and prolonged endeavour, our study aims at at deriving such psycholinguistic norms for frequency, age of acquisition, iconicity, and transparency for German Sign Language (Deutsche Gebärdensprache, DGS) using subjective ratings by deaf and hearing participants. The freely available OSF archive contains the collected rating data, stimulus clips including motion tracking data, and the R code used for data analysis.

If you have any questions about the two corpora or the two archives, please contact the director of the lab.