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Big Things Often Have Small Beginnings: A Review on the Development, Use and Value of Small and Big Corpora for Flemish Sign Language Linguistic Research

Authors
  • Wille, Beatrijs1
  • Beukeleers, Inez2
  • Van Herreweghe, Mieke1
  • Vermeerbergen, Myriam2, 3
  • 1 Department of Linguistics, Ghent University, Ghent , (Belgium)
  • 2 Department of Linguistics, KU Leuven, Leuven , (Belgium)
  • 3 Department of Dutch and Afrikaans, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch , (South Africa)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Psychology
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jan 05, 2022
Volume
12
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.779479
Source
Frontiers
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Psychology
  • Review
License
Green

Abstract

In 1990, Vermeerbergen started the first larger-scale corpus study with (semi)spontaneous language data from adult signers on the morpho-syntactic aspects of Flemish Sign Language (VGT). After this, a number of lexicographic projects, including the collection of a 90-h corpus, led to the launch of the first online bilingual Dutch/VGT—VGT/Dutch dictionary in 2004. Since then, researchers have developed several corpora of variable sizes, with the greatest realization being the VGT Corpus. The main focus of this chapter is twofold. On the one hand the run-up to, the development and the use of the VGT Corpus will be discussed, while on the other hand smaller specific research corpora will be highlighted such as the corpus on early parent-child interaction and the multifocal eye-tracking corpus. The current chapter will discuss the research and community value of the corpora and future directions. Finally, it will elaborate on the need for corpus research, the associated advantages and disadvantages, and the obstacles faced in smaller deaf communities.

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