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A reference corpus of the Malian Sign Language/Langue des Signes Malienne (LSM)

Landing page image for the collection "Un Corpus de Reference de la Langues des Signes Malienne"

Landing page image for the collection “Un Corpus de Reference de la Langues des Signes Malienne”. Click on image to access collection.

Language Langue des Signes Malienne
Depositor Victoria Nyst
Affiliation Leiden University
Location Mali
Collection ID 0108
Grant ID IPF0114
Funding Body ELDP
Collection Status Collection online
Landing Page Handle


Summary of the collection

African sign languages are severely under-researched. This project is a documentation of the Langue des Signes Malienne (LSM). In the absence of deaf education, LSM has emerged naturally. Once deaf schools were established, LSM was initially used for instruction, but was replaced by American Sign Language in 2001. Having virtually no child users, LSM is seriously endangered. During three field trips, a team consisting of three native LSM signers and the applicant, recorded a diverse sample of texts, transcribing them in a time-aligned annotation system. In addition, the project generated a video vocabulary and a basic grammar CD of LSM.


Group represented

Malian Deaf community in Bamako and Mopti


Language information

Alternative language names: Malian Sign Language, Langue des Signes Bambara, Bamako Sign Language


Special characteristics

Currently, this is the only digital corpus of Malian Sign Language and probably the first digital corpus of an African sign language.


Collection contents

This collection contains a corpus of Langue des Signes Malienne, collected in Bamako and Mopti between 2007 and 2009. The material consists of video clips annotated in ELAN at the gloss, translation or abstract level. The recordings contain spontaneous narratives and dialogues as well as semi-spontaneous discourse in response to cartoons and picture-based tasks. A subset of the recordings specifically targets the collection of lexical items. The clips feature 65 – mostly Deaf – signers. Some of the recordings show signers using the Malian variety of American Sign Language (ASL) or a contact form of Langue des Signes Malienne and ASL. The collection includes some video material recorded by others prior to 2007.


Acknowledgement and citation

Acknowledge as: Corpus Langue des Signes Malienne (Bamako & Mopti)

To refer to any data from the collection, please cite as follows:

Nyst, Victoria. 2010. Un Corpus de Reference de la Langues des Signes Malienne. Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: Accessed on [insert date here].

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