The corpus will be openly accessible from 2012. Requests for access before that date should be directed to the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR), University of London.
The Auslan Corpus
The Auslan Corpus consists of the movies in the Auslan Archive together with linked linguistic annotation files. The Auslan Archive was funded by the Endangered Languages Documentation Program within the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. The primary aim of the project was two-fold: first, to create and secure a reference archive of Auslan, as an endangered language, in the face of the decreasing numbers of deaf sign language users (a decrease which is projected to accelerate); and, second, to create a linguistic Corpus for the study and description of the language both now and into the future.
The creation of the archive involved recording, collating and describing a set of naturalistic, controlled and elicited signed language samples from deaf native and near-native signers across Australia. Fifty three-hour language-use sessions, each with two participants, were recorded on 300 hours of digital videotape. The archive also includes annotations of a small subset of the recordings using multi-media annotation software. This represents the first step in the longer-term aim of transforming the archive into a large machine-readable corpus.
The archive was deposited at the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR), which is housed at SOAS, in 2008 and will be openly accessible from 2012. This is to allow sufficient time for the compilers of the archive to conduct their own preliminary research. However, requests for access to the archive before that date may be made through ELAR.
The Auslan Corpus also includes video research data collected as part of the Sociolinguistic Variation in Auslan linkage research project jointly funded by the Australian Research Council and the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (#LP0346973) conducted by Adam Schembri and Trevor Johnston (2003-2005). From 2008-2010 Adam Schembri lead the project that created the British Sign Language (BSL) Corpus.