The Sign Language Dataset Compendium

Lexical Resource


ASL-LEX is a database of phonological and lexical properties of ASL signs. When first released it consisted of 1000 signs, growing in size to 2723 signs in the 2020 release. ASL-LEX is built in a collaboration of Laboratory for Language and Cognitive Neuroscience at San Diego State University, the Programs in Deaf Studies at Boston University and the Psycholinguistics and Linguistics Lab at Tufts University. The creators are Naomi Caselli, Karen Emmorey, Zed Sevcikova Sehyr, Ariel Cohen-Goldberg, Cindy O'Grady Farnady.

The resource is available as a searchable web interface and as a raw data in spreadsheet form. The project provides web visualisations, instructions of usage and a download option.

The frequency ratings provided are done by 25 deaf signers per sign.

ASL-LEX – together with ASL Signbank and SignStudy – is used in the construction of ASLNet (Lualdi et al., 2021), a wordnet for American Sign Language. ASL-LEX is part of the SIGN-LEX interactive web-based platform (see Caselli et al. (2022)), also hosting ISL-LEX.

Languages American Sign Language, English
Size 2723 signs
Linguistic Information Frequency, iconicity and transparency ratings, phonological coding, neighborhood density, phonotactic probability, cross-references, visualizations, English translations for 25%
Licence CC BY-NC 4.0
Access Public access via browsable homepage, open access to download raw data
Webpages Project:
Public interface:
Institution San Diego State University, Boston University and Tufts University

Cite as

Zed Sevcikova Sehyr, Naomi Caselli, Ariel M Cohen-Goldberg, Karen Emmorey (2021). "The ASL-LEX 2.0 Project: A Database of Lexical and Phonological Properties for 2,723 Signs in American Sign Language". In: Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education 26(2), pp. 263-277. ISSN: 1081-4159. DOI: 10.1093/deafed/enaa038.

Naomi K. Caselli, Zed Sevcikova Sehyr, Ariel M. Cohen-Goldberg, Karen Emmorey (2017). "ASL-LEX: A lexical database of American Sign Language". In: Behavior Research Methods 49(2), pp. 784-801. ISSN: 1554-3528. DOI: 10.3758/s13428-016-0742-0.

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This entry was last modified on 17 May 2023.