If you want to integrate SignWriting into ELAN, you can use UTF-8. All SignPuddle data easily converts between Binary SignWriting and UTF-8.
Open any puddle and view a sign or sign text. Under the entry, find the meta data. Hover over the UTF-8 link to view the data. Copy and paste just like text. With the SignWriting MediaWiki Plugin, you can paste the UTF-8 and use it just like any other Unicode string.
Copy any data from SignPuddle and paste it into the Unicode test page to see the possibilities.
ELAN will need a special plugin to view the SignWriting. The font engine Graphite may be available the end of this year or next.
For online servers, the SignWriting Image Server is available.
I should have the UTF-8 documents and implementation available in 2 weeks.
Date: January 11, 2010 8:55:17 AM PST
Subject: [sw-l] ELAN & SignWriting
you can get in touch with Han Sloetjes, the ELAN guy at MPI
I am sure he ll be more than happy to help you out. He is familiar
with us sign linguists (not me personally) - if you want, we can
discuss it off-forum and then keep this list informed with the latest
So is there any plan to contact ELAN and work out a SignWriting interface
that is searchable by particular SW feature?
Sent: Sun, January 10, 2010 1:09:36 PM
Subject: Re: [sw-l] Gallaudet transcription class
ELAN is now becoming popular with sign linguists now - because of the
video inset etc.
It appeals to deafies too.
I've just checked the ELAN software they talk about and it is entirely a
gloss-based system. It has nothing to do with actual sign language
transcription but controlled glossing and description in English or other
spoken languages. I am working with a project that will take Sign Writing
and put it into English descriptors (not glossing but descriptors) for
linguistic research by another method, but in addition, being able to add
whatever translation or glossing may be useful. It's a different
The ELAN software is a medium for parsing a videotape so that it can be
annoted step-by-step, so as a software it could, conceivably, be able to
SignWriting as and "alternate primary language", but it would be
to write the company and see what they could do. It is Java and XML
enabled, so an interface could be created (finding funding would be an
Sent: Sat, January 9, 2010 12:41:52 PM
Subject: [sw-l] Gallaudet transcription class
Transcription of Sign Languages (1 credit)
This course begins by providing a brief history on transcription practices
in signed languages, particularly that of ASL linguistics. This leads to
discussion and evaluation of the role of glass transcripts as data for ASL
studies. The course then introduces the theory of transcription and what
defines successful transcription practices. Attention is also given to
learning ELAN software, a dedicated transcription program, and applying it
to ASL data.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Contact
RID CMP: Professional, Introductory, 1.5 CEUs
Course Materials: Instructor provided materials (keynote presentation and
scanned articles) and software (free and available as web download).
Instructor: Julie Hochgesang
Interesting, no mention of signwriting.... Anybody in DC want to take the
class and open their eyes? ::grin::