Sign Transcription and Database Storage of Sign Information
  • ISSN 1387-9316
  • E-ISSN: 1569-996X
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This article discusses the ways in which a multi-media database can facilitate the analysis of ‘the productive lexicon’ within signed language. The database can free us, at least to some extent, from over-reliance on glossing. Analysis of productive forms is dependent upon accurate identification of these forms and consistent categorization of the component morphemes. Relevant categories of morphemes may include classifiers, nonmanual morphemes, metaphors and vocational morphemes. While questions may be raised about the status of each of these categories, the database can allow us to analyse and re-categorize, thus allowing different types of patterning to emerge. This should ultimately allow us to recognize the most linguistically efficient form of categorization. It is also suggested here that visual motivation has a triggering effect on sign production. By marking the different types of visual motivation, we can chart their significance within the language.


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