Publication details

Applying phonology in lexicography : Variant-synonym classification in Czech Sign Language



Year of publication 2020
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description In the lexicographic project proceeding at Masaryk university, the first Czech sign language online dictionary, a part of the platform Dictio, is developed. A part of the project consists of introducing a systematic way of distinguishing variants from synonyms in Czech sign language. The rule is quite simple: if only one of the main parameters of a sign differs, i.e., hand configuration (handshape), place of articulation or movement, the pair of lexemes is classified as variants. On the other hand, more differences signal synonyms. In this process, a refined phonological Hand-Tier model (Sandler 2006) is used to serve as a phonological basis where mere empirical comparison is not sufficient. The motivation behind this work is threefold: (i) the empirical reason is to help describe an understudied language and move a little closer to its full account; (ii) the practical reason is to develop a part of a Czech sign language dictionary on a linguistic basis by implementing this specific method; (iii) the theoretical reason is to put to the test the refined phonological model of Czech sign language with the future possibility of extending it to other sign languages as well.
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