Research in Sign Language notations

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Mon Sep 3 20:08:07 UTC 2012

SignWriting List
September 3, 2012

Hello Jessica and everyone -

Welcome to the SignWriting List, Jessica. And congratulations on your project…I enjoyed visiting your research web site:

Machine Translation of SASL

I am preparing an answer for you now, and will post it in a few hours - 

While you are waiting, have you visited our Linguistics Forum?

SignWriting Linguistics Forum

Did you see the old research done years ago comparing the three systems? Scroll down to find those articles…number 14 and 15 on that page for example...

Writing the Same Signs in Different Notation Systems

it goes on for many pages on the web so keep clicking on Next Page icon…

Joe Martin, who wrote the comparison between the Stokoe and SignWriting systems, is here on this List…Joe did an excellent job on the comparison:

Comparing Stokoe and SignWriting

More soon from me - and i hope others will answer too -

Val ;-)


On Sep 3, 2012, at 11:37 AM, Jessica Hutchinson wrote:

> Hi everyone
> My name is Jessica Hutchinson. I am a Computer Science/Linguistics postgraduate student at Rhodes University, South Africa, doing a research project in machine translation of sign languages. My research involves looking at the various notations used to represent sign languages and making a comparison in terms of how effectively each of them can be parsed by a computer. The results of my research I hope will further improve the area of Sign-To-Text translation.
> I would like to build a couple of small systems that do statistical translation from sign notation to English text, for each of the main notations (starting with Sign Writing, HamNoSys and Stokoe). To do this, however, I need quite a bit of data, and I have had trouble finding any kind of parallel corpus for these notations. I am hoping to do the translation on a sentence-by-sentence basis, so the kind of data I am looking for would be sentences in a sign language matched to sentences in English. I'm expecting ASL to be most accessible, and for comparison's sake would prefer each notation in the same language, but anything will be useful.
> Furthermore, data would need to be in some kind of format that a computer would be able to process - images in a pdf file aren't going to work so well!
> If anyone can help me to find that data that I need, I would greatly appreciate it.
> Regards,
> Jessica Hutchinson
> Research website:


Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
sutton at

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