Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-9316
  • E-ISSN: 1569-996X
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In this paper, we investigate frequency and duration of signs and parts of speech in Swedish Sign Language (SSL) using the SSL Corpus. The duration of signs is correlated with frequency, with high-frequency items having shorter duration than low-frequency items. Similarly, function words (e.g. pronouns) have shorter duration than content words (e.g. nouns). In compounds, forms annotated as reduced display shorter duration. Fingerspelling duration correlates with word length of corresponding Swedish words, and frequency and word length play a role in the lexicalization of fingerspellings. The sign distribution in the SSL Corpus shows a great deal of cross-linguistic similarity with other sign languages in terms of which signs appear as high-frequency items, and which categories of signs are distributed across text types (e.g. conversation vs. narrative). We find a correlation between an increase in age and longer mean sign duration, but see no significant difference in sign duration between genders.


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