Workshop: American Sign Language (ASL) Research Resources
- Diane Lillo-Martin
This workshop will provide information on resources useful for research on ASL, including (a) a new corpus of longitudinal data on the acquisition of ASL; (b) ASL-LEX and ASL SignBank lexical databases; and (c) upgrades to ELAN that bridge annotations with SignBank entries. The Sign Language Acquisition: Annotation, Archiving & Sharing (SLAAASh) project involves the construction of machine-readable annotated videos of Deaf children acquiring ASL interacting with their Deaf parents and/or researchers using ASL. The videos were collected in the 1990’s and are being re-annotated for consistency and accuracy. At a minimum, one complete corpus will be available to researchers by the time of the workshop. The annotations used in the SLAAASh project crucially involve the use of ID glosses, labels used to consistently identify a sign lemma regardless of changes in its use in various contexts. The ID glosses, along with videos, lexical, and phonological information about each sign, are housed in a new ASL SignBank, to be open to researchers, built on the basis of SignBanks previously constructed for other sign languages. The ASL SignBank is being constructed to be mutually compatible with the existing publicly available ASL-LEX database, containing overlapping phonological information as well as frequency and iconicity ratings, with a unique set of visualization options. Technological improvements to ELAN provide a bridge between an annotation file and SignBank, permitting a close integration of these components for improved consistency in data coding and further research. For example, all instances of a lemma can be called up, modified, or coded through the ELAN/ SignBank bridge. In the workshop, participants will be introduced to these research tools, and instructed in how to access and manipulate information across all of them. There will be presentations by the developers of these tools as well as time for hands-on implementation.