Sign Language Corpora and Dictionaries: a Multidimensional Challenge

Page 427-434
Author Anna Vacalopoulou
Title Sign Language Corpora and Dictionaries: a Multidimensional Challenge
Abstract This paper is an analysis of the main challenges in developing sign language resources such as corpora and dictionaries. Although difficulties in data collection and processing are common with those in similar projects for vocal languages, there are extra complications that seem to be unique to the creation of resources for sign languages. These, more language specific, problems could be categorised under three general headings: (a) linguistic obstacles, (b) financial obstacles, and (c) social obstacles. Most of the challenges in studying and describing any sign language spring from the nature of these languages themselves, which is why this nature is briefly described. Instead of dealing with the typical two-dimensional, linear representation of the linguistic message, researchers have to cope with a more complex and dynamic medium involving elements including hand position and movement, eye gaze, facial expression as well as head and body movement. All these, among others, make the acquisition and processing of signed material more expensive and time-consuming. Finally, the activity of building and exploiting sign language resources can also be held back by social factors, including choice of informants, communication barriers and prejudice.
Session Lexicography for Special Needs
Keywords sign language lexicography; multimodal lexicography; sign language corpora; sign language resources; Greek Sign Language
address = {Alexandroupolis},
title = {Sign {Language} {Corpora} and {Dictionaries}: a {Multidimensional} {Challenge}},
isbn = {978-618-85138-1-5},
url = {},
language = {en},
booktitle = {Lexicography for {Inclusion}: {Proceedings} of the 19th {EURALEX} {International} {Congress}, 7-9 {September} 2021, {Alexandroupolis}, {Vol}. 1},
publisher = {Democritus University of Thrace},
author = {Vacalopoulou, Anna},
editor = {Gavriilidou, Zoe and Mitsiaki, Maria and Fliatouras, Asimakis},
year = {2020},
pages = {427--434},}