7 July 2023, by Newsroom editorial office
Photo: AdWHH/Jann Wilken
The dictionary documents sign-language text, and makes it available to the public.
The Institute of German Sign Language and Communication of the Deaf at Universität Hamburg has maintained a digital dictionary since 2009 reflecting the everyday language of deaf people across Germany. The digital dictionary of German Sign Language has now been awarded the Kulturpreis Deutsche Sprache (German Language Culture Award) 2023.
The prize was awarded by the Eberhard Schöck Foundation and the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung (German academy for language and literature) to recongize the work of the long-term Corpus of German Sign Language (DGS-Korpus) project. The project, conducted in conjunction with the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg, documents and researches German sign language (DGS).
The dictionary, known as the DW-DGS, is a reference work designed for anyone who uses DGS as a means of communication, as well as for those learning it, and language researchers. The project team gathers sign-language text from deaf individuals and makes it available to the public. In particular, the DW-DGS reveals how German Sign Language varies from region to region.
The corpus also serves a wide range of possibilities beyond the dictionary itself, and can be used for research into numerous aspects of DGS. The jury particularly praised the differentiated and vivid presentation and analysis of the numerous signs and their meanings.
Prof. Dr. Annika Herrmann and Thomas Hanke leads the long-term research project that runs until the end of 2027. Together with her team, she is delighted about the prize. “Especially now, it is a truly lovely recognition of the work done by such participative projects. The biggest thanks goes to the participants, who made this vertitable treasure of the DW-DGS possible.” she said in her first reaction to the news of the prize.
The award ceremony will take place on 30 September 2023 in Baden-Baden. A sign-language video on the Eberhard Schöck Stiftung press release is available on the Institutes's home page.