Transcribing and annotating multimodality: How deaf children’s productions call into the question the analytical tools
This paper deals with the central question of transcribing deaf children’s productions. We present the annotation grid we created on Elan®, explaining in detail how and why the observation of the narrative productions of 6 to 12 year-old deaf children led us to modify the annotation schemes previously available. Deaf children resort to every resource available in both modalities: voice and gesture. Thus, these productions are fundamentally multimodal and bilingual. In order to describe these specific practices, we propose considering verbal and non-verbal, vocal and gestural, materials as parts of one integrated production. A linguistic-centered transcription is not efficient in describing such bimodal productions, since describing bimodal utterances implies taking into account the ‘communicative desire’ (‘vouloir-dire’) of the children. For this reason, both the question of the transcription unit and the issue of the complexity of semiotic interactions in bimodal utterances need to be reconsidered.