Annotating the BSL Corpus Project video data for studies of sociolinguistic variation and change has begun: we have started to move film clips into ELAN files so that we can begin to analyse the data. Here is a screen shot of an ELAN file showing a conversation between two Scottish BSL users. We have begun analysis of a phonological feature in this data, using special codes to record the features we are interested in (we’re keeping the details confidential for now, until all data collection is complete – we don’t want information about our research to influence the signing used by participants we will film in the future). As far as we know, we’re the first research team to use ELAN for studies of sociolinguistic variation in sign language phonology in this way (the Sociolinguistic Variation in New Zealand Sign Language Project pioneered the use of ELAN for variation studies of NZSL grammar and the use of fingerspelling). For more information about ELAN, visit the website for the software, where it can be downloaded for free.
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