Farnell CD/book

Sherman Wilcox wilcox at MAIL.UNM.EDU
Wed Nov 29 15:21:54 UTC 1995

For those who might be interested, I am writing a review of the Farnell
book ("Do You See What I Mean? Plains Indian Sign Talk and the Embodiment
of Action") for the Journal of Anthropological Research. It should appear
sometime early 1996. For anyone thinking of buying the book for serious
study, I would highly recommend also getting the CD. It's one thing to read
about her examples (I find most movement transcriptions quite opaque), and
yet another to actually see and hear the stories being told.

While we are on the topic, let me mention two other projects associated
with video and language. One is the Multimedia Dictionary of American Sign
Language (MM-DASL). Although the MM-DASL has not yet appeared as a
commercial product, it is a novel use of video and Mac interface
technologies to implement a bilingual (ASL-English) dictionary. Signs are
represented as video, of course. The most unique aspect of the application
is that it allows users to search for signs directly, but supplying
phonological parameters. This is done through a fully graphic (both static
pictures and movies, for dynamic parameters such as movement) interface.

The second is a project that is still under development but I think has
great potential. With a colleague in Lyon France, I and others are
developing a World Wide Web database that will serve as a corpus of sign
languages. The database can be searched (we intend to have different "front
ends" for the search -- English, French, etc.) by multiple searchable
fields (gloss, phonological parameters, etc.). The items found are
displayed through your web browser. Right now we are only doing pictures
(GIFs) but the next step is to include video. We hope that eventually this
might serve as a netwide resource for researchers in typology of sign
language, for example.

Does anyone know if there is a similar resource for spoken languages? It
would be pretty easy to implement on the web.

-- Sherman Wilcox

Sherman Wilcox                        wilcox at mail.unm.edu
Associate Professor
Dept. of Linguistics                   (505) 277-6353 v/tty
University of New Mexico        (505) 277-6355 fax
Albuquerque, NM 87131

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