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Towards an Annotation of Syntactic Structure in the Swedish Sign Language Corpus

Börstell, Carl ORCID button Börstell, Carl | Wiren, Mats | Mesch, Johanna ORCID button Mesch, Johanna | Gärdenfors, Moa

Proceedings of the LREC2016 7th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Corpus Mining
Portorož, Slovenia
28 May 2016
European Language Resources Association (ELRA)
CC BY-NC 4.0
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Swedish Sign Language


This paper describes on-going work on extending the annotation of the Swedish Sign Language Corpus (SSLC) with a level of syntactic structure. The basic annotation of SSLC in ELAN consists of six tiers: four for sign glosses (two tiers for each signer; one for each of a signer's hands), and two for written Swedish translations (one for each signer). In an additional step by Östling et al. (2015), all glosses of the corpus have been further annotated for parts of speech. Building on the previous steps, we are now developing annotation of clause structure for the corpus, based on meaning and form. We define a clause as a unit in which a predicate asserts something about one or more elements (the arguments). The predicate can be a (possibly serial) verbal or nominal. In addition to predicates and their arguments, criteria for delineating clauses include non-manual features such as body posture, head movement and eye gaze. The goal of this work is to arrive at two additional annotation tier types in the SSLC: one in which the sign language texts are segmented into clauses, and the other in which the individual signs are annotated for their argument types.

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  author    = {B{\"o}rstell, Carl and Wiren, Mats and Mesch, Johanna and G{\"a}rdenfors, Moa},
  title     = {Towards an Annotation of Syntactic Structure in the {Swedish} {Sign} {Language} Corpus},
  pages     = {19--24},
  editor    = {Efthimiou, Eleni and Fotinea, Stavroula-Evita and Hanke, Thomas and Hochgesang, Julie A. and Kristoffersen, Jette and Mesch, Johanna},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the {LREC2016} 7th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Corpus Mining},
  maintitle = {10th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation ({LREC} 2016)},
  publisher = {{European Language Resources Association (ELRA)}},
  address   = {Portoro{\v z}, Slovenia},
  day       = {28},
  month     = may,
  year      = {2016},
  language  = {english},
  url       = {}
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