SignWriting texts

Sara Morrissey smorri at COMPUTING.DCU.IE
Fri Feb 3 12:25:31 UTC 2006

Hello to all SW listers!

my name is Sara Morrissey and I am currently doing a PhD in the National
Centre for Language Technology, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. My
work is based around developing a machine translation system for sign
languages. I came across SignWriting when looking for corpora for my style
of translation. Currently, I am using annotated videos from the ECHO project
as my training data but I would love to branch out and work with other SL
writing systems, particularly SignWriting as I am very interested in it's
format and construction.

So, to veer a little bit more towards my point, I am essentially looking for
texts (as large and as many as possible) to construct a corpus of sign
language in SignWriting. Valerie Sutton has very kindly provided me with
links to stories such as "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" that have been
written in SignWriting. This has been a great introduction to SignWriting
for me and I am eager to obtain more texts in SignWriting in ANY sign
language. It is preferable for the moment if these texts come with a
translation in the spoken language of the country they come from. Not being
proficient in SignWriting myself I need to be able to construct a bilingual
corpus for the example-based approach I am using.

Also, it there is anyone who knows about the encoding of the signs. Val
tells me there are numberous texts available in PDF format but I'm unsure if
I would be able to extract the signs for use in my system. Is there another
way of encoding the signs in SignWriting, a Unicode of ASCII version where
the content is unaltered? I sincerely hope there is as I would love to use
SignWriting in my work.

I appreciate any help any of you can offer me and I look forward to future
communication with you all.


 Sara Morrissey,
 PhD researcher,
 National Centre for Language Technology  (NCLT),
 School of Computing,
 Dublin City University,
 Dublin 9.

 Tel: +353 1 700 6914


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