In this first lecture, Professor will present in detail the findings of some older work on the realisation of ‘focus’, emphasised linguistic information in a sentence. We found for Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT) that information can be emphasised in a myriad of ways, using both manual and non-manual cues. Some of the facial, head, and body signals are produced during a (series of) sign(s), while others are more ‘punctual’, following a focused constituent. There is a role for the mouth, eye brows, eyes, head, and torso. Professor will compare these findings to more recent research on other sign languages. Together, these studies enrich our understanding of the complexity of sign language prosody and help us understand why sign languages come across as so ‘expressive’ to non-signers.
Prof. Onno Crasborn
Onno Crasborn is professor of Sign Language of the Netherlands at Radboud University. He has been studying the linguistic structure and use of Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT) for the last 25 years. He has played a major role in the development of sign language corpora and related language technologies worldwide, including the Corpus NGT (2008), the ELAN annotation software and the Global Signbank lexical database. Ongoing work studies the use of international sign in cross-signing context and in conference interpreting. In 2005 he obtained his NGT interpreting certification.