Documenting language across modalities: visual and tactile sign language in the Bay Islands

The Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) provides grants worldwide to for the linguistic documentation of endangered language and knowledge. Grantees create multimedia collection of endangered languages. These collections are preserved and made freely available through the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) housed at the library of SOAS University of London.

A previously undescribed indigenous sign language is used in the Bay Islands of Honduras. The language emerged in the village of French Harbour, Roatán, and has spread to the neighbouring island of Guanaja. As a result of a high incidence of Usher Syndrome, deafness is relatively common in French Harbour, and is associated with loss of vision later in life. The language is used by hearing, Deaf, and DeafBlind people in both visual-gestural and tactile-gestural modalities. This project provides an initial documentation of this language in both modalities. Primary investigator: Ben Braithwaite

Project Details


Location: Honduras, Central America, Americas Organiser(s): Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Project partner(s): University of the West Indies Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £9,947.00 Commencement Date: 01/2014 Project Status: Active
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