Transcribing and annotating multimodality: How deaf children’s productions call into the question the analytical tools

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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.

Keywords: bimodal bilingual development; deaf children; multimodality; transcription

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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