Design for SignPuddle 3: parts-of-speech and morphology of sign language

Stephen E Slevinski Jr slevin at SIGNPUDDLE.NET
Wed Dec 11 16:33:02 UTC 2013

Hi SignWriting List,

This has been a great year, but I'm woeful behind on several project.  I 
appreciate all of the positive work people have been able to do with 
SignPuddle.  The long awaited work on SignPuddle 3 continues. Next year 
will be a break out year for written sign language across the globe.

I'm finalizing the database for SignPuddle 3.  I'm very impressed with 
MySQL Workbench and the diagramming tool in particular. (image below)

Database design
For individual entries, I have designed the parts-of-speech solution, 
but not the morphology solution yet.

For parts-of-speech, there is a small list of values for the most common 
choices.  noun, verb, adjective, adverb, sentence, other. This list can 
be translated into other languages.

Additionally, each entry has a separate parts-of-speech text field, 
which can be used for a more accurate description or a value outside of 
the common list.

I was considering a similar strategy for morphology.  First, a new table 
with a static list of the most common and universal choices. Second, a 
freeform text field for each entry for alternate descriptions and 
complex analysis.

Researching morphology, it appears there are several kinds of analysis, 
each with its own classifications and descriptions.  Is a single list 
too simplistic to be helpful?  I'd appreciate any discussion of the topic.

Morphology list: monosyllable, compound, ... ?


PS - Here is part of the working diagram for the database.  I haven't 
added anything for morphology yet.



Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
sutton at

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