Filming in Glasgow was completed this week – Sally worked with Avril Hepner and successfully filmed 30 Deaf participants there, with the last session taking place last Tuesday. Glasgow now joins Birmingham as the two cities where data collection for the BSL Corpus Project is complete. A big thank you to Avril and Jenny for all their fantastic work as fieldworkers for the project!
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.
Adam Schembri, Mark Nelson and Sally Reynolds conducted the first pilot data collection session on July 11 here at DCAL in London. We were very grateful for assistance from Tanya Denmark and Jordan Fenlon, two BSL native signers and PhD students at University College London who agreed to act as participants for the pilot filming session. We’re now ready to begin filming sessions in London, Manchester and Birmingham.
We are pleased to announce that Carolyn Nabarro has accepted the position of Bristol Deaf community fieldworker for the project – welcome to the team, Carolyn, we look forward to working with you in the near future.
Research Associate (Deaf Community Fieldworker) for the British Sign Language Corpus Project – Ref 81/08/W.
Grade/Salary £22,332 – £25,888 pa pro rata (1-3 months full-time/part-time).
Closing date: 25 July 2008.
The job will be based in Glasgow.
The post for the Glasgow area will be employed by and under the terms and conditions of Heriot-Watt University.
The work will begin in autumn 2008. Hours are flexible, and work will be contacted to the equivalent of four weeks (minimum) full time work (150 hours). We are looking for well-organised Deaf people with a thorough knowledge of the Glasgow Deaf community and native signing skills in BSL. You will be responsible for recruiting, interviewing and filming 30 deaf participants in the Glasgow area, and working with the BSL Corpus Project team.
For informal enquiries please contact Dr Adam Schembri at or Sally Reynolds at
For further information regarding the job including the job description, the application form click here.
To apply, please complete and return the completed application along with a full CV and covering letter to by 25 July 2008. Only short-listed applicants will be contacted and invited for an interview.