Sign Language & Linguistics

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To examine In world linguistics, not only languages ​​with a long search tradition, such as American or British sign language, have been provided with extensive book descriptions, but also Nicaraguan, Indo-Pakistani, Jordanian or even the one spoken by the people of the village of Adamorobe in Ghana. More and more works try to look at the communication of signs through the prism of linguistic theories previously reserved for “full-fledged” phonic communication.

Important international linguistic journals (for example “Sign Language Studies” published in the United States or “Sign Language & Linguistics” published in Europe) are completely dedicated to the subject of signature. The importance of the issues discussed is also evidenced by the large number of academic units that are being set up all over the world, which deal with the study of sign languages.

In Poland, scientific reflection on this topic is still limited to a few articles and only a few books. In 2010, PJM was curated by the Sign Linguistics Laboratory (PLM) established at the University of Warsaw. Its purpose is to develop a comprehensive grammatical description of PJM, as well as conduct research on sign communication from the perspective of contrastive linguistics (i.e. compare various sign languages ​​and sign languages ​​with phonic ones).

The studio’s flagship project is the creation and linguistic analysis of PJM’s visual corpus, which is a large collection of video recordings that record and document various types of statements in this language. Give me a future. The plan to create the body was inspired by similar projects implemented in other countries (including Great Britain, Australia, Germany).

The use of foreign experience has allowed the PLM team to select the best methodological solutions available and to develop a multi-year scenario of activity in detail. The PJM Corpus is a huge collection of data collected in the form of a film, which forms a starting point for in-depth linguistic research, learning about the culture of the Deaf and creating the first PJM dictionary based on empirical material in history.

For years, the Corps will serve scientists, but also the Deaf themselves, as a source of knowledge of the PJM and its documentation for future generations. Due to problems with sign language writing, very limited information on what sign language looked like 100 or 200 years ago has survived our times. Thanks to the corpus, in 100 years, those interested in this topic will be able to go back in time and see today’s PJM.