Haitian Sign Language Documentation Project – Brown Bag Event 11/1 @ SLCC 3233 aka Open Area

What: Brown bag lunch presentation
When: this Friday, Nov. 1st, noon-ish
Who: Kate McAuliff, Elizabeth Steyer, and Ines Gonzalez
Topic: The Haitian Sign Language Documentation Project: Field Work and Analysis

Abstract This presentation describes the work of the Haitian Sign Language Project, a language documentation and community empowerment effort. The planning of this project began in January 2013 under the collaboration of professors and students from the linguistics, international development, and world languages departments. During June-August 2013, fieldwork was conducted in three locations in Haiti. The data collected and is composed of nearly 40 hours of video documentation of Haitian Sign Language vocabulary and storytelling from 75 Deaf participants. The data is now being analyzed using ELAN and will culminate in an online corpus of Haitian Sign Language vocabulary.

The primary researcher will discuss the project design, goals, and fieldwork experience. This will emphasize the importance of collaborating with the Deaf Community and the vital role of the Haitian Deaf Team. It will also address various challenges related to conducting fieldwork in Haiti including barriers related to gender, infrastructure, and politics. The two primary analysts of the video data will then speak to their methods, use of technology, and experiences in the second phase of the project.

The presentation will encourage discussion of the many circumstances surrounding the Haitian Sign Language Project. This includes the colonization and endangerment of languages, the role of language and linguistics research in Deaf Community development, as well as questions or feedback on the project itself.

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