Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Toponymic studies on Brazilian Sign Language

This talk aims to offer an overview of toponymic studies on Brazilian Sign Language, Libras, and to present a morphological analysis of Brazilian Sign Language signs that name 51 of the 75 Curitiba neighborhoods. Specifically, we will show the results of a study carried out by Xavier and Ferreira (2021) on the lexical creation processes through which some Libras toponyms were formed. The corpus for this research was constituted from data collected by Ferreira and Xavier (2019) and videos made available on CAS-Curitiba’s YouTube channel. From these sources, 75 toponymic forms and phonological variants for seven of them were collected. We analyzed those forms based on works on word-formation processes in spoken languages (Vellupilai, 2012) and in signed languages (Meir, 2012). As a result, we have identified 16 different patterns of lexical formation and four toponymic families, that is, four sets of signs that share the same articulation place, and, presumably, a semantic feature related to it. The analysis of these toponymic signs also reveals the occurrence of phonological, morphological and lexical variation. Finally, we will present a research project involving public universities from eight Brazilian states that aims to create a toponymic atlas for Libras.

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