Tufts professor, other researchers win award for sign language database

“A group of researchers, including Associate Professor of Psychology Ariel Goldberg and former Tufts graduate student Naomi Caselli, were awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF)visualization award for ASL-LEX (http://asl-lex.org/), an interactive and searchable lexical database for American Sign Language (ASL).

Karen Emmorey, a professor at San Diego State University, said that the database currently has around 1,000 signs. It includes data on subjective frequency, iconicity — which is how closely a sign looks to an English word — and phonological properties, with an attached video of each sign. These factors are all worked into the interactive design of the database, Emmorey said. For example, high frequency signs are displayed with larger icons than low frequency signs, making them easier to find for users.”