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Lexical variation and change in British Sign Language

Stamp, R; Schembri, A; Fenlon, J; Rentelis, R; Woll, B; Cormier, K; (2014) Lexical variation and change in British Sign Language. PLoS One , 9 (4) , Article e94053. 10.1371/journal.pone.0094053. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper presents results from a corpus-based study investigating lexical variation in BSL. An earlier study investigating variation in BSL numeral signs found that younger signers were using a decreasing variety of regionally distinct variants, suggesting that levelling may be taking place. Here, we report findings from a larger investigation looking at regional lexical variants for colours, countries, numbers and UK placenames elicited as part of the BSL Corpus Project. Age, school location and language background were significant predictors of lexical variation, with younger signers using a more levelled variety. This change appears to be happening faster in particular sub-groups of the deaf community (e.g., signers from hearing families). Also, we find that for the names of some UK cities, signers from outside the region use a different sign than those who live in the region.

Type: Article
Title: Lexical variation and change in British Sign Language
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094053
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0094053
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 Stamp et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1428459
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