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Anytime. :-)

Adam

On Jul 3, 2013, at 6:55 AM, Charles Butler wrote:

Very good Adam. Thanks for the discussion. 
 
Charles Butler
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Clear writing moves business forward.

From: Adam Frost <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 9:38 AM
Subject: Re: SignPuddle database design options

I can understand your frustration about the Sign Language Linguistics Community having different names for some things but not for others. I'm in that field and it is frustrating for me as well, but you have to realize that every field has people who agree and disagree. The reason the community "went back" to calling the basic parts within signs a phoneme rather than a chereme is because the definition within the larger linguistics community had changed to where it wasn't necessary to have different words. It used to be that a phoneme was the smallest unit of sound and a sign does not use sound. Chereme was disapproved at the time Stokoe preposed it because it mean the smallest unit of "the hand". 

I can understand why you said "if it acts like a noun, signs like a noun, it's a noun", but the reason some (and it isn't necessarily the majority) of sign language linguists are calling them nominals is because they are finding that it doesn't always act like a noun. Not in the way that nouns are defined now.

There are two reasons I didn't mention classifiers. The first is that it wouldn't be a major lexical category, but a subcategory. The second is that there are several disagreements on even which major category it goes under and even what it should be called (and with good reason).

You have to realized that sign language linguistics field is a baby. Many of the first generation sign language linguists are still around. On top of that, there is so much that has not been studied and so much unknown. When you have that there is so much discussion on what is and isn't. Don't let it eat at you because it is honestly just discussion. :-)

Now as far as what Adam Schembri said about the German SignPuddle and lexeme, Maria is right about Adam (and so is Adam). One of the reasons that the SignPuddle dictionaries can't be considered dictionaries in the linguistics sense is that there are multiple entries for the same lexeme. (And lexeme has a very specific definition that doesn't exactly mean what you were talking about, Charles). I personally think that is just fine because we are not trying to be a dictionary in the linguistics sense exactly. We might improve and become closer, but the purposes are completely different. It would be like the "encyclopedia police" saying that the Wikipedia is not an encyclopedia because of various reasons, with one being that it is possible to be written by non-expert of the various fields. I think that is the reason that it is so good (and bad at the same time) because then it makes it so that everyday people can actually get their heads around the subject matters better that way.

Anyway, I agree Maria that we could benefit asking the SLLS list about how they would suggest setting up such a thing for a dictionary, and then we can run with or without it if we wish. :-)

Adam

On Jul 3, 2013, at 5:16 AM, Charles Butler wrote:

When the SLLS community has the audacity to call a sign a "phoneme" rather than a "chereme" I have a serious issue with them as a whole rejecting "noun" from the standard definition of "noun - a person, place, or thing such as George Washington, Gallaudet, or cat". 

If it acts like a noun, signs like a noun, it's a noun. 

The term "classifier" is a term I don't see listed yet. A classifier is a special class of object, it is handshape used to describe certain classes of noun, and a classifier may be different for different languages. The flat hand is used as a classifier, for example, in the ASL verb "WALK" and the "2" classifier used for "DANCE" in LIBRAS.

So sometimes sign linguistics have terms that are unique to sign language, sometimes not. 

When I see the term "literature" being used when the sign language is NOT written down, I cringe. ASL, Stokoe, HamNoSys create literature, a videotape does not. Visual corpus would be more accurate. 
 
Charles Butler
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240-764-5748
Clear writing moves business forward.

From: maria galea <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 4:02 AM
Subject: Re: SignPuddle database design options


hi,
I'm just thinking also now - maybe you could have different 'parts of speech' categories and yes maybe avoid the term 'parts of speech' as Adam suggested...Perhaps offer categories that have been identified by sign linguists for sign languages e.g:
1)  'Polycomponential/Classifier Verbs' vs.'Agreement Verbs', 'Plain Verbs' (Padden's 1990 classical classification)
2) maybe use terms such as 'Nominal' and 'verbal' rather than 'noun' and 'verb'
3) maybe you could check your sign as being 'inflectional' vs. 'derivational'
4) maybe include 'bound-morpheme' vs. 'free morpheme' (so that you can enter a list of classifier handshapes into the lexicon/dictionary even though they do not stand on their own etc etc...)


Steve, why don't you send the original email to the sign linguist email list for consultation - you might get some interesting feedback...
I know for sure that there has been some criticism about SignPuddle from the sign linguistics field, but it might be a good idea to see what exactly they are not happy with and why, so things can be improved upon with their help... From what I learnt from past-emails, they seemed to be uncomfortable calling SignPuddle Dictionaries a 'corpus/database/dictionary' - Adam Schembri had taken the German Puddle Dictionary as an example and noticed that there are more than one entries for a lexeme - and in this aspect i think he was right. He wasn't comfortable with the term 'Dictionary' for the Dictionary SignPuddle..  I honestly think that if you could get feedback from the sign linguistic field it would be well worth your time....even if it's just for the constructive criticism they may have to offer...

good luck!
maria



On 2 July 2013 16:41, Adam Frost <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
See my comments below.

On Jul 1, 2013, at 10:20 AM, Stephen E Slevinski Jr wrote:

> Hi List,
>
> Considering the dictionary entries, I will be making several additions and would like the general lists opinion on the following topics.
>
> This will be used for the coming database conversion.  I will continue to support XML as an export/import format.
>
> ----------------
>
> Language Codes:
>     the design will include language codes for spoken and signed languages.
>
> Terms, titles, and text segments can be labelled by language.
>
> ----------------
>
> Part of Speech:
>
> The part of speech can be a text field or a select list.  I am consider the following list.  Suggestions or comments are welcome.
>
> adjective:  sign that gives attributes to nouns, extending their definitions.
> adverb:  sign that modify clauses, sentences and phrases directly.
> conjunction:  sign that connect words, phrases or clauses together.
> interjection:  sign that express emotions, sounds, etc. as exclamation.
> noun: sign that indicates people, beings, things, places, phenomena, qualities or ideas.
> numeral:  sign that indicate quantities of nouns.
> preposition: sign that describes the relationship of multiple nouns/pronouns in terms of time, distance, or location.
> pronoun:  sign that refer to and substitute nouns.
> verb:  sign that indicate actions, occurrences or states.
>
I thought that it was interesting that you had the traditional 8 parts of speech (for English) plus one that is sometimes categorized with adverbs (numeral). I can understand why one would start with these 9 sign languages since there is no true understanding of the parts of speech for them yet yet. Also, not every language uses the same parts of speech, so I think we would need to keep the options somewhat flexible for future findings. Having said that, I think this list is a good place to start. :-)

I also noticed that it was mentioned before about being able to have more defined categories for verbs and such. I think that would be a very good idea for all of the categories to be able to select a subcategory to say specifically what type of verb, noun, etc. Then it would be best to allow numerals be under the adjective category. Some of these could be defined because they seem to be similar for all sign languages (i.e. directional verb, transitive verbs, proper nouns, etc.), but some of these would have to be defined per language because some languages have a classification that others have. Then there's the fact that we find more information about a language and realize what categories are needed even more.

Another thing that might be good is to be able to have a way of saying that the part of speech for this sign could be a combination of a few or even that we don't know what it is yet.

PS I know there will be several people who would have a problem with "parts of speech" being applied to sign languages, but no one has ever come up with a term that is much better. Just thought you might want to be aware of that. ;-)
>
> ----------------
>
> Lexicon usage
>
> An interesting designation for dictionary signs.  Would this list usable by the various sign language puddles?
>
> dated : sign that is no longer fashionable, but is anachronistic.
> formal : sign whose use is typically restricted to polite, ceremonious, non-casual contexts.
> informal : sign whose use is typically restricted to casual, non- ceremonious conversations.
> pejoratives:  sign with negative connotations.
> slang: nonstandard sign that are typically used to mark membership in a cultural subgroup.
>
> Maybe add an additional lexicon usage such as "test" or "student" or "other" to help filter the SignPuddle content.
>
I agree with Maria that dated should be archaic. Informal, and probably even slang as well, should be colloquial. Because colloquial is truly a blanket term, it might be good to have a way of picking a subcategory like I suggested for the parts of speech. I don't know about pejoratives because I haven't really thought of having a designation for that in a dictionary. One reason is that one word that has negative connotations for a specific group doesn't necessarily have the same connotation for another group. There may be times where a dictionary will have a little section about the usage for this type of connotation, but that is usually because it has to be explained about the major possible connotations. I think this is better than having a blanket term to denote it.

It is might be good to have test and/or student for SignPuddle because it is so open and free. I also think it might be good to have an "edited" labeling so that people can know which ones have been established as the proper or "correct" spellings that has been accepted.
>
> ---------------
>
> Additional fields for videos and photos will be added for use with definition, illustration, demonstration.
>
> Thoughts or opinions?
>
> Regards,
> ∼Steve