Natural and elicited: Sign language corpus linguistics and linguistic ethnography as complementary methodologies

Autor/a: HODGE, Gabrielle; GOICO, Sara A.
Año: 2022
Editorial: Journal of Sociolinguistics, 26(1): 126-136
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Sistemas de transcripción de las Lenguas de Signos, Lingüística » Corpus signados


Many domains of sociolinguistic enquiry have contributed to the development of our understanding of the sociolinguistics of sign languages, ranging from studies in language attitudes and multilingualism to discourse analysis and sociolinguistic variation (see, e.g. Lucas, 2001; Schembri & Lucas, 2015). Researchers have used a range of methodological approaches (see Kusters & Lucas, 2021 for an overview). Two complementary approaches for investigating the sociolinguistics of sign languages are corpus linguistics (CL) and linguistic ethnography (LE). CL and LE have been shaped by related branches of sociolinguistics: the former by studies in linguistic variation and the latter by interactional linguistics (Rampton, 2020). Both approaches respect the complexity of language variation and the sociolinguistic reality of sign languages existing within ambient majority and spoken language ecologies; both emphasize the necessity of strong researcher and community relationships; and both involve analysis of natural and elicited data. Crucially, both also reject traditional linguistic methods as a starting point for claims about language use, especially tightly controlled grammaticality judgements that are elicited from very few people on the basis of problematic ‘native user’ competencies (see Johnston et al., 2007; Sampson, 2007). As such, both may play a role in illuminating marginalized aspects of language use and communication (see Dingemanse, 2017).