From archive to corpus: transcription and annotation in the creation of signed language corpora

Autor/a: JOHNSTON, Trevor
Año: 2008
Editorial: International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, Vol. 1, Nº 15 (2008) pp. 106–131
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística, Lingüística » Sistemas de transcripción de las Lenguas de Signos


The essential characteristic of a signed language corpus is that it has been annotated, and not, contrary to the practice of many signed language researchers, that it has been transcribed. Annotations are necessary for corpus-based investigations of signed or spoken languages. Multi-media annotation software can now be used to transform a recording into a machine-readable text without it first being necessary to transcribe the text, provided that linguistic units are uniquely identified and annotations subsequently appended to these units. These unique identifiers are here referred to as ID-glosses. The use of ID-glosses is only possible if a reference lexical database (i.e., dictionary) exists as the result of prior foundation research into the lexicon. In short, the creators of signed language corpora should prioritize annotation above transcription, and ensure that signs are identified using unique gloss-based annotations. Without this the whole rationale for corpus-creation is undermined.