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Johanna MeschProfessor

Om mig

Johanna Mesch [johɑnɑ mɜʃ] 

Professor, vetenskaplig ledare i teckenspråk vid Institutionen för lingvistik, Stockholms universitet. 


Johanna Mesch
Presentation på svenskt teckenspråk.




VT 2023:

  • LIT003 Teckenspråk - lär dig grunderna II
  • LIT009 Att transkribera och annotera teckenspråkstexter, 7,5 hp
  • LITK21 Svenskt teckenspråk III
  • TTA236 Svenskt teckenspråk IV
  • TTA236 Dövblindtolkning I
  • Handledning av kandidatuppsatser

HT 2022:

  • LIT230/LIT232 Dövstudier, 7,5 hp
  • LITK10/LIT400/LIT412 Svenskt teckenspråk II, 10 hp
  • LITK10/LIT400/LIT403 Dövas kultur och historia, 5 hp
  • LIT001 Teckenspråk lär dig grunderna I


Här är ett exempel på min föreläsning om teckenspråkets historia


Min expertis inom taktil teckenspråkskommunikation har varit efterfrågad i flera år, efter min doktorsavhandling Teckenspråk i taktil form – turtagning och frågor i dövblindas samtal på teckenspråk (1998). Jag har haft ett övergripande ansvar för ett treårigt projekt Korpus för det svenska teckenspråket under åren 2009-2011. Jag har varit involverad i ett treårigt TATE-projekt Från tal till tecken - att lära sig Svenskt teckenspråk som andraspråk under åren 2017-2019, tillsammans med Krister Schönström. Under augusti-oktober 2018 vistades jag i Florianópolis, Brasilien, som gästprofessor. Mitt forskningsintresse är också utvecklingen av teckenspråkskorpora och teckenspråkslexikon. 

Jag är involverad i många projekt/forskningsnätverk, se nedan.

Pågående projekt/nätverk:

Avslutade projekt/nätverk:

Kommande publikationer:

  • Referencing across signed languages: a cross-linguistic study of doing reference while story-telling
  • Taktilt samtal mellan två personer med dövblindhet 
  • Teckenspråkstolkning 
  • Teckenspråk som andraspråk 



I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • Meaning-making in tactile cross-signing context

    2023. Johanna Mesch, Eli Raanes. Journal of Pragmatics 205, 137-150


    Cross-linguistic studies of tactile sign language are still not widely performed internationally. For this study, four deafblind informants in two different tactile sign languages, Swedish Sign Language and Norwegian Sign Language, participated in the recording at a social and cultural workshop where they worked together to create a mutual understanding in their conversations. The study provides new information on how tactile and bodily signals are incorporated in dialogues where the speakers are not familiar with each other's signing. The results illuminate various tactile communicative strategies used in negotiating in cross-signing dialogues. By the selected analyzed examples, this study contributes to knowledge of how language and interaction skills are brought into the process of understanding each other, despite linguistic barriers.

    Läs mer om Meaning-making in tactile cross-signing context
  • A cross-linguistic comparison of reference across five signed languages

    2022. Lindsay Ferrara (et al.). Linguistic typology


    Do signers of different signed languages establish and maintain referencethe same way? Here we compare how signers of five Western deaf signedlanguages coordinate fully conventionalized forms with more richly improvisedsemiotics to identify and talk about referents of varying agency. The five languages(based on a convenience sample) are Auslan, Irish Sign Language, Finnish SignLanguage, Norwegian Sign Language, and Swedish Sign Language. Using tenretellings of Frog, Where Are You? from each language, we analyze tokens ofreferring expressions with respect to: (a) activation status (new vs. maintained; (b) semiotic strategy (e.g., pointing sign, fingerspelling, enactment);and (c) animacy (human vs. animal vs. inanimate object). Statisticalanalysis reveals many similarities and some differences across the languages. Forexample, signers of each language typically used conventionalized forms toidentify new referents, and less conventional strategies to maintain and reintroducereferents. Differences were mainly observed in relation to the patterning across animacy and activation categories and in the use of fingerspelled wordsfrom ambient spoken/written languages. We suggest that doing reference in thesesigned languages involves both signed language-specific and ecology-specificstrategies. The latter may be attributed to the different social and historical trajectoriesof each language.

    Läs mer om A cross-linguistic comparison of reference across five signed languages
  • Use and acquisition of mouth actions in L2 sign language learners

    2021. Johanna Mesch, Krister Schönström. Sign Language and Linguistics 4 (1)


    This article deals with L2 acquisition of a sign language, examining in particular the use and acquisition of non-manual mouth actions performed by L2 learners of Swedish Sign Language. Based on longitudinal data from an L2 learner corpus, we describe the distribution, frequency, and spreading patterns of mouth actions in sixteen L2 learners at two time points. The data are compared with nine signers of an L1 control group.

    The results reveal some differences in the use of mouth actions between the groups. The results are specifically related to the category of mouthing borrowed from spoken Swedish. L2 signers show an increased use of mouthing compared to L1 signers. Conversely, L1 signers exhibit an increased use of reduced mouthing compared with L2 signers. We also observe an increase of adverbial mouth gestures within the L2 group. The results are discussed in relation to previous findings, and within the framework of cross-linguistic influence.

    Läs mer om Use and acquisition of mouth actions in L2 sign language learners
  • Mouthings in Swedish Sign Language

    2021. Johanna Mesch, Krister Schönström, Sebastian Embacher. Grazer Linguistische Studien 93, 107-135


    This paper deals with the non-manual mouth actions of Swedish Sign Language, Svenskt teckenspråk (STS). Based on data from the Swedish Sign Language Corpus and the Swedish Sign Language as L2 Corpus, we compare the use of mouthings in deaf L1 as well as hearing L2 signers. The use, distribution and frequency of mouthings are explored and described quantitatively and qualitatively. The results reveal some similarities as well as differences in the use of mouthings between the groups. Furthermore, the analysis reveals qualitative differences related to the properties of mouthings i.e. full and reduced mouthings among L1 as well as L2 learners of STS. Challenges of the analysis of mouthings will be discussed.

    Läs mer om Mouthings in Swedish Sign Language
  • Conveying environmental information to deafblind people

    2020. Sílvia Gabarró-López, Johanna Mesch. Frontiers in Education 5, 1-12


    Many deafblind people use tactile sign language and interpreters in their daily lives. Because of their hearing and sight status, the role of interpreters does not only involve translating the content expressed by other deaf or hearing people, but it also involves conveying environmental information (i.e., multimodal communication regarding what is happening at a given moment to be able to understand the context). This paper aims to contribute to the field of tactile sign language interpreting by describing how two Tactile Swedish Sign Language interpreters convey environmental information to two deafblind women in a particular situation, that is, a guided visit to a cathedral by a hearing Norwegian speaker. We expect to find various strategies including the use of haptic signs (i.e., a system of signs articulated on the body of the deafblind person aimed to provide environmental and interactional information). After summarizing the small amount of existing research on the issue to date, we present our data and how they were annotated. Our analysis shows that a variety of strategies are used, including Tactile Swedish Sign Language, using locative points to show locations with some type of contact with the body of deafblind individuals, depicting shapes on the palm of the hand of deafblind individuals, using objects to depict shapes, touching elements of the cathedral with the hands or with the feet such as surfaces, and walking around. Some of these strategies are more frequent than others and some strategies are also used in combination, whereas others are used in isolation. We did not observe any use of haptic signs to convey environmental information in our data, which calls for further research on which criteria apply to use this strategy in a particular situation.

    Läs mer om Conveying environmental information to deafblind people
  • STS-korpus

    2020. Zrajm Öqvist, Nikolaus Riemer Kankkonen, Johanna Mesch. Proceedings of the 9th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages, 177-180


    In this paper we describe STS-korpus, a web corpus tool for Swedish Sign Language (STS) which we have built during the past year, and which is now publicly available on the internet. STS-korpus uses the data of Swedish Sign Language Corpus (SSLC) and is primarily intended for teachers and students of sign language. As such it is created to be simple and user-friendly with no download or setup required. The user interface allows for searching – with search results displayed as a simple concordance – and viewing of videos with annotations. Each annotation also provides additional data and links to the corresponding entry in the online Swedish Sign Language Dictionary. We describe the corpus, its appearance and search syntax, as well as more advanced features like access control and dynamic content. Finally we say a word or two about the role we hope it will play in the classroom, and something about the development process and the software used. STS-korpus is available here:

    Läs mer om STS-korpus
  • Transitivity prominence within and across modalities

    2019. Carl Börstell (et al.). Open Linguistics 5 (1), 666-689


    We investigate transitivity prominence of verbs across signed and spoken languages, based on data from both valency dictionaries and corpora. Our methodology relies on the assumption that dictionary data and corpus-based measures of transitivity are comparable, and we find evidence in support of this through the direct comparison of these two types of data across several spoken languages. For the signed modality, we measure the transitivity prominence of verbs in five sign languages based on corpus data and compare the results to the transitivity prominence hierarchy for spoken languages reported in Haspelmath (2015). For each sign language, we create a hierarchy for 12 verb meanings based on the proportion of overt direct objects per verb meaning. We use these hierarchies to calculate correlations between languages – both signed and spoken – and find positive correlations between transitivity hierarchies. Additional findings of this study include the observation that locative arguments seem to behave differently than direct objects judging by our measures of transitivity, and that relatedness among sign languages does not straightforwardly imply similarityin transitivity hierarchies. We conclude that our findings provide support for a modality-independent, semantic basis of transitivity.

    Läs mer om Transitivity prominence within and across modalities
  • The Use of Signing Space in Signed News Broadcasts / L’utilisation de l’espace de signation dans les émissions signées

    2019. Pia Simper-Allen, Johanna Mesch. Lidil (60)


    Cet article étudie l’utilisation des tokens dans deux types de journaux télévisés, l’un pour un public sourd adulte et l’autre pour un public sourd jeune, en langue des signes suédoise. Un token est un point vide et non topographique dans l’espace de signation qui se situe devant le présentateur. Notre échantillon contient 1084 tokens qui ont été placés à un point précis de cet espace de signation pour faire référence au concept introduit par chaque token au cours du discours. Les présentateurs exploitent ce mécanisme de référence fréquemment et les types de signes les plus utilisés à ce propos sont des signes lexicaux, des pointages et des verbes directionnels. La plupart des tokens sont placés dans l’espace de signation gauche ou droit du présentateur, tandis que l’espace de signation frontal est moins utilisé. Le nombre de tokens est plus réduit dans l’introduction et la conclusion des informations télévisées. Nous pensons que ces résultats pourraient être des spécificités des programmes d’information en langue des signes. Dans notre analyse, nous avons aussi tenu compte de l’utilisation des images à l’écran et de l’effet de celles-ci sur la création des tokens.

    Läs mer om The Use of Signing Space in Signed News Broadcasts / L’utilisation de l’espace de signation dans les émissions signées
  • The uses of corpora in L1 and L2/Ln sign language pedagogy

    2019. Lorraine Leeson (et al.). The Routledge Handbook of Sign Language Pedagogy, 339-352


    This chapter explores the use of sign language corpora in L1 and L2/Ln sign language classes. We discuss how corpora have been developed and used by linguists working on spoken and, more recently, signed languages. The corpora can be leveraged for pedagogic purposes. Examples from corpora-based pedagogical practice in Sweden, Ireland, and Australia are offered. We outline some possible future pedagogical applications of sign language corpora and propose some research pathways that presently remain unexplored.

    Läs mer om The uses of corpora in L1 and L2/Ln sign language pedagogy

Visa alla publikationer av Johanna Mesch vid Stockholms universitet