BSLCP Activities

The British Sign Language Corpus Project (BSLCP) section of the CAVA repository contains video recordings of BSL video data from 249 deaf signers of BSL from 8 regions around the UK: London (L), Bristol (BL), Cardiff (CF), Birmingham (BM), Newcastle (N), Manchester (M), Glasgow (G) and Belfast (BF). The participants are mixed for gender, age group, age of BSL acquisition, social class and ethnicity. BSL Corpus Project participants all took part in four activities:

Open Access data

Narratives (n): Participants told short personal stories or anecdotes about their lives or things that have happened to them. Some of these were prepared before filming, and others were produced spontaneously.

Lexical elicitation (l): Participants were shown 102 different picture/word combinations (similar to those shown here with rights-cleared images) and were asked to produce their signs for each concept. These concepts were chosen largely based on assumed regional variation or suspected phonetic variation and/or diachronic change of some lexical items. The set of picture/word combinations actually used to elicit the signs is available on request from The word list without pictures (along with some added clarifications that were obvious from the pictures – e.g. “glass” referred to the material and not a drinking container) gives the 102 items in the order they were presented.

Restricted Access data

Interviews (i): Participants were asked questions about language attitudes and language awareness. The interview questions were asked in BSL by a Deaf native signer local to that region. Due to the sensitive nature of some of the responses, access to the interview data requires registration first (request a user license here).

Conversation (c): Participants were filmed in free conversation with a friend for 30 minutes. To help ensure that the conversations would be as natural as possible, participants were assured at the time of filming that the conversation would be restricted to registered researchers only. Therefore, access to the conversations requires registration first (request a user license here).

Narratives within conversation (n-c): In some sessions, participants told a personal experience story, but afterwards there was no clear break between the narrative and that and the free conversation session that followed. As such, these clips are part of conversation video files and accessing them requires registration first (request a user license here).