SignPuddle database design options

Ingvild Roald iroald at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 11 11:20:59 UTC 2013

So would I. I addition, I would like to be able to tag, or make extra categories, like 'law', 'health', and a lot of others. This is useful, almost necessary, for the Pudle to be of use for interpreters and others jumping from subject area to subject area. For now, I am trying to solve this by using the term 'tag' and add subject area (example: tag: person). 
As we know so little about Norwegian SL, (and most other SLs), I would also like a number of open categories. For instance, to me it seems as some signs constitute 'families' based on related meanings and realted handforms (or other aspects of the signs). I have attached an example of what I mean by this. 


Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2013 07:31:53 -0700
From: chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Subject: Re: SignPuddle database design options

I wouldn't mind a search field by source, but if you start putting things into additional folders in the SignPuddle it becomes next impossible for a lexical project (like the one I'm doing) to complete a section on a particular handshape (how I'm sorting the LIBRAS dictionary) because suddenly there is a whole other layer to open and search through. Having it a true database so that I can search by every field enables me to put a lexical item in by choice only where there is attestation by a known source, and to immediately identify an entry as a "student" entry. 
What I would like is for there to be a "minimum" necessary to put in when creating an entry in the SignPuddle. 
1) Actual sign - the whole sign, no student entry that does not contain ANY SignWriting. Put in a place holder of at least one "grapheme" so we know you are researching something. 2) Attribution - where is this sign used. Where did the researcher see it. On
 the street, in a lab, in a lecture, or geographical location, or a databank (I'm working with about 5 other dictionaries right now).3) Transcriber - who put it in the dictionary. If the person is a student, then one knows right away, if the person is a researcher, then that name is known. 4) Meaning in the parallel spoken language. At the moment, all the dictionaries are by a specific spoken language in translation. We haven't gotten to the point that a sign has no meaning (even if it a full sentence) in the spoken language. Example "this is not my responsibility" is a very simple brush off the shoulder in ASL but one
 cannot simply translate it. "touch-finish-shoulder" unless your intent in a lexicon is descriptive, not translation. "Throw my nose away" is descriptive, "don't care" is not. We do need more lexical items in the dictionary for things like "touch-finish" which has a series of possible English translations in context. 
So far, my work with the LIBRAS dictionary has been a great deal of fun, I'm learning new signs every day.  
chazzer3332000 at
Clear writing moves business forward.
        From: maria galea <signwriting.maria at GMAIL.COM>
 Sent: Thursday, July 4, 2013 6:18 AM
 Subject: Re: SignPuddle database design options
Hi everyone, 
thanks for the interesting discussions :)

It just crossed my mind just now...Steve, could all entries be sorted into
 different folders. I'm thinking of the issue of 'student/test' entries..

Imagine you have a group working on dictionary entries..could they somehow input all their entries into a single folder..Then when student/test enters an entry they could save all their work into a specific folder.

Sorry if this sounds's just that when I search for entries in Puddle
 all entries are listed and mixed together..and i was thinking wouldn't it be more user-friendly if you could search by folders of people who input entries..something like how we keep files and folders in windows..

just a thought.

On 3 July 2013 17:00, Charles Butler <chazzer3332000 at> wrote:

I like that. It lets people know what this classifier is for and can cross-reference to other terms in a lexicon. If I show the sign "accident" in ASL I am using a classifier, but I can also show the sign "park the car" with the same classifier and use the same handshape as the number "3" not as the "classifier-3". Defining terms is always a part of the linguistic historian's presentations. 
 Charles Butler
chazzer3332000 at

Clear writing moves business forward.
 Cherie Wren <cwterp at YAHOO.COM>

 Sent: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 10:47 AM
 Subject: Re: SignPuddle database design options
Classifiers have multiple functions.  Some describe somethings movement-- acting as a verb;  Some describe an objects size or shape-- acting as an adjective;  some describe location-- acting as a preposition; some describe the manner of movement-- acting as an adverb; they can show path of movement/direction/speed, they can show orientation in space, they can show number or quantity,.....  and I'm sure there are
 many i am missing.  They are not unique to signed languages, but they are much more used and integral in signed languages.  I think they need a category, and perhaps a space to add more information, such as 'locative' or 'size and shape specifier'


      From: Adam Frost <icemandeaf at GMAIL.COM>

 Sent: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 9:49 AM

 Subject: Re: SignPuddle database design options
To be honest, I have always seen what everyone is calling a classifier here function as a verb rather than a noun or anything else. It is true that classifiers can only work with certain nouns, but it doesn't function as a noun itself.

I agree with the
 issue of simplicity & usability versus flexibility & exactness. There needs to be a balance between the two sides. That's why I was thinking of having the major categories be static and then having the subcategories be something that people can enter to be able to identify more specifically what the entries are. The other issue is that even the major categories might not fit all sign languages because we don't really know yet. Going static could possibility hurt more than benefit.

On Jul 3, 2013, at 6:29 AM, Stephen E Slevinski Jr wrote:
I was wondering about that.  

* Should classifier be added to the list?
* Is a classifier only part of a sign?
* Can classifier fall under another part of speech, such as noun or pronoun?


On 7/2/13 9:41 AM, Adam Frost wrote:

I think that would be a very good idea for all of the categories to be able to select a subcategory to say specifically what type of verb, noun, etc.Hi Adam,

I'm torn by simplicity & usability versus flexible &



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