ASL-LEX is a searchable web database of lexical and phonological properties that have been complied for nearly 3,000 signs of American Sign Language.

The database contains:

  • Frequency ratings
  • Iconicity ratings
  • Lexical properties
  • Phonological coding
  • Neighborhood density calculations
  • English translation
  • Alternative translations
  • Reference video clip

Go to the ASL-LEX database.

This project is a collaboration between the Laboratory for Language and Cognitive Neuroscience at SDSU, the Psycholinguistics and Linguistics Lab at Tufts University and the Programs in Deaf Studies at Boston University.


This research is supported by the National Science Foundation BSC 1918556 to Dr. Karen Emmorey, Dr. Zed Sevcikova and San Diego State University and National Science Foundation BSC 1625954 to Dr. Karen Emmorey and San Diego State University.


Science can be hard to describe – concepts, theories, processes, and phenomena use up a lot of words—and even after careful consideration those words can fall short. That’s why for the last three years Popular Science has teamed up with the National Science Foundation to honor the best science visualizations with a Vizzie award.

ASL-LEX received the People’s Choice: Inactive VIZZIE award! More about the award on the National Science Foundation website.

Recent Publications

Recent Presentations