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Metaphor in Creative Sign Language

The following people are involved with this project:

More about this project

This project will be the first major piece of research focusing on the mode-specific features of metaphor in creative sign language. Through analysing a substantial number of poems and stories in British Sign Language (BSL), this research project aim at answering following research questions:

  • What are the unique features of metaphors in creative sign language?
  • How do they manifest themselves in the visual-manual-spatial modality?
  • What do they inform us about how the mind perceives the world?
  • Research Background

    The project builds on work conducted in creative sign language (Sutton-Spence 2005, Bauman, Nelson and Rose 2007). Due to its highly interdisciplinary nature, the research will bridge the gap between other fields such as general linguistics, especially metaphor studies in cognitive linguistics (Lakoff and Johnson 1980), literary criticism and Deaf studies.

    The fundamental problem in the research of creative signing to date is the lack of substantial materials. It tended to be a qualitative rather than quantitative research matter. This project will overcome this problem by collecting a substantial amount of signed poems and stories and will create the first large-scale corpus in BSL literature.

    Project director(s):
    Rachel Sutton-Spence
    Project funder:
    Project collaborator(s):
    Dr Michiko Kaneko
    Project group:
    Narratives and Transformative Learning (CeNTraL)
    Rachel Sutton-Spence