Chapter 4. Linguistic study

The GramLSE gathers information from previous research on LSE. Two earlier versions of LSE grammars, both coordinated by linguist Ángel Herrero, stand out: a visual grammar (Herrero Blanco, 2005) and a didactic grammar (Herrero Blanco, 2009). The visual grammar is signed in LSE and includes content from two levels of linguistic analysis: morphology and syntax. The didactic grammar was published in book format, including a DVD with signs, and it also covered other linguistic levels, such as phonology and discourse/pragmatics.

Various lexicographical publications on LSE collect its vocabulary: paper and online dictionaries, glossaries of specific fields, etc. Among the dictionaries available online we can find DILSE, heir to the normative dictionaries that were previously published, and whose preparation included the involvement of the Spanish federations and associations of deaf people. Other online dictionaries are, for example, Sématos and Spreadthesign, which also include entries from other sign languages.

There are written documents with LSE vocabulary dating back to the 18th century. One of the most relevant is the Diccionario usual de mímica y dactilología by Francisco Fernández Villabrille (1851). From the 20thcentury, the LSE dictionaries of Juan Luis Marroquín and those of Félix Pinedo are notable. In recent years, many lexicographic works have appeared on paper, online or available in applications created for different devices (mobiles, tablets, etc.). These works are not only general dictionaries but also glossaries related to specific fields. There are vocabularies aimed at specific groups: children's dictionaries, basic dictionaries for LSE learners, etc., and works aimed at LSE research, such as the LSE-Sign database.

A corpus allows one to observe varieties of LSE depending on different factors, such as the place where the signers live, their age, etc. Different LSE corpora projects are currently underway to collect the use of LSE by signers: CORALSE and the corpus associated with the RADIS project, both from the University of Vigo, and CORLSE, developed by the CNLSE. There are also compilations of signed speeches containing life stories and historical events narrated by elderly signers, such as those of the SignHub project.

Like other languages, LSE varies depending on different factors. There is not a single form of LSE. Instead, we can say that LSE is made up from all its varieties. LSE varies as a function of time (Nogueira Fos, 2006, 2007). We did not sign in the 19th century exactly as we do now, for example. There are also variations related to the age of the signers, where they live (Parkhurst and Parkhurst, 1998, 2006), who they interact with, the demographics of the area where they live, as well as national policies (Parkhurst and Parkhurst, 2000). We don't even sign the same way in a familiar setting as when we give a talk to many people on a specific topic. That is to say, there is also variation depending on the register (Chapa, 2001b). There are even varieties associated with the school in which deaf students were educated, and even with different associations of deaf people. In fact, one can find that varieties of the language related to schools are associated with the differences in LSE used by women and men, since girls and boys were traditionally separated in schools for deaf people (Chapa, 2001a). Other varieties depend on the impact that another language can have when signing in LSE (Chapa, 2001a).

Villameriel García, S. (2022). Socio-historical background: Linguistic study. In S. Villameriel García (Ed.), Gramática de la Lengua de Signos Española (GramLSE) / Grammar of Spanish Sign Language (GramLSE). Real Patronato sobre Discapacidad. Retrieved Month DD, YYYY, from