Sign Transcription and Database Storage of Sign Information
  • ISSN 1387-9316
  • E-ISSN: 1569-996X
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In the last few years we have begun developing a database for studying the history of American Sign Language (ASL), and more generally as a prototype for making historical and contemporary sign language materials accessible to a variety of users. Our prototype began with a set of films, produced by the National Association of the Deaf, of master signers from the period 1910 to 1920. In addition to a digitized frame by frame version of these films, we have added a full transcription and a linguistic coding of each sign and sentence in the films. We are in the process of expanding these materials, adding further types of coding and representation of the items, and developing an interface permitting users to access parts of these materials in accord with their interests and needs. This paper describes our work thus far, and illustrates one possible use of these materials with an example of historical linguistic change.


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