sign-lang@LREC Anthology

Corpus-based Sign Dictionaries of Technical Terms – Dictionary Projects at the IDGS in Hamburg

König, Lutz ORCID button König, Lutz | König, Susanne | Konrad, Reiner ORCID button Konrad, Reiner | Langer, Gabriele ORCID button Langer, Gabriele

Proceedings of the LREC2008 3rd Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Construction and Exploitation of Sign Language Corpora
Marrakech, Morocco
1 June 2008
European Language Resources Association (ELRA)
sign-lang ID:

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German Sign Language
GLex, HLex, Galex, TLex, PLex, SLex


At the Institute of German Sign Language (IDGS), six dictionary projects in such diverse technical fields as computer technology, psychology, joinery, domestic science, social work as well as health and nursing care have been carried out. A seventh project on landscaping and horticulture is in progress. Six of the seven dictionaries are based on a corpus collected from deaf experts in the respective fields. Elicitation methods, such as interviews and picture prompts, corpus design as well as annotation, transcription, sign analysis and dictionary production have been continually developed and refined over the years. Many procedures rely heavily on the use of a relational database system iLex (see other presentation).
The presentation provides an overview of the projects, procedures and products with special attention given to the issues of corpus-building for and corpus-relatedness of the dictionaries at most stages of analysis and production. We focus on the corpus-based selection process which translations to include in the dictionary and on the analysis of single signs.
From 1998 on, the dictionaries do not only provide translations of technical terms into DGS but also include a special section that lists single signs used in these translations in separate entries. The structure of these entries is similar to what you would expect from a general sign language dictionary. Information including lexical status, meaning, use of space, iconic value and cross references to similar signs is given for each sign. However, due to the limited size of each of these corpora and the elicitation methods used, not all information can be drawn from or validated by the corpus.
Within the scope of the projects, assumptions and practical decisions have been made to deal with lexicological and lexicographical issues. These include the identification of lexemes, the degree of lexicalisation, i.e. the lexical status of signs and their meanings, the role of mouthings, and the relations between signs (polysemes vs. homonyms, modifications and variants). One important criterion for these decisions is the iconic value of signs.
The lexicographic solutions applied to specialised sign language dictionaries also provide a solid basis for general sign lexicography as well as corpus annotation and lexical analysis.

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  author    = {K{\"o}nig, Lutz and K{\"o}nig, Susanne and Konrad, Reiner and Langer, Gabriele},
  title     = {Corpus-based Sign Dictionaries of Technical Terms -- Dictionary Projects at the {IDGS} in {Hamburg}},
  pages     = {94--100},
  editor    = {Crasborn, Onno and Efthimiou, Eleni and Hanke, Thomas and Thoutenhoofd, Ernst D. and Zwitserlood, Inge},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the {LREC2008} 3rd Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Construction and Exploitation of Sign Language Corpora},
  maintitle = {6th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation ({LREC} 2008)},
  publisher = {{European Language Resources Association (ELRA)}},
  address   = {Marrakech, Morocco},
  day       = {1},
  month     = jun,
  year      = {2008},
  language  = {english},
  url       = {}
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