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

Stephen E Slevinski Jr slevin at SIGNPUDDLE.NET
Thu Dec 12 17:35:58 UTC 2013

On 12/12/13, 10:17 AM, maria galea wrote:
> Could I just point out an issue that has come up recently when 
> investigating SignPuddles and using them as a tool to extract 
> information about the writing system for different sign languages..
> You see, some reviewers have been very critical about the symbol 
> frequency count - not in itself naturally, but with the lack of 
> information it provides about the inputters (writers), their expertise 
> and even the lack of having an exact figure of how many people have 
> written in a given Puddle.

This is a fair criticism.

> Without such information not much can be concluded from the results, 
> since you would need exact figures of how many writers have inputted 
> into a given Puddle, dates of when they inputted, and some information 
> about their level of skill, whether they are native signers or 
> otherwise..
Some of this is available.

> it would be a pity not to include such information (if it is possible) 
> for the sake of future research.
This would require tracking additional information.

> Just to give an example, say you would like to investigate the writing 
> system of the Spanish Literature Puddle (for instance you are 
> investigating the symbols/glyphs used for Spanish sign language) - 
> without information about the number of writers, whether they are 
> native signers or hearing students, and dates of when the writing was 
> created - there is not much you can conclude about the writing system 
> of Spanish sign language (because if if it was written by one person 
> this would be much more different than if it were written by say 15 
> people) you see my point?

 From the raw user data, I can pull this list.
Anonymous: 67
AndrewSutton: 16
DavidCorreia: 14
msutton: 346
sutton: 12

However, the user who entered the data isn't the same as the original 

> I have no idea if such information can somehow be stored, as i have no 
> expertise with programming at all; i can also see the problem with 
> data-protection acts (but hey- what happened with the boom of 
> social-networks such as Facebook!) but it would be great to somehow 
> store such information for future research...
This would be an interesting and valuable addition to the SignPuddle 
project, but not the core focus.

I have a few ideas that will answer some of you questions, but it will 
not answer them all.

Thanks Maria for your input.




Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
sutton at

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