On 12/13/13, 10:20 AM, Adam Frost
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And what exactly is being approved or rejected? The spelling
of the sign? Or the sign itself? How would non-standard play
SignPuddle has always been focused on the spelling of a sign rather
than the concept of a sign.
Similar signs are related to other signs because they are spelled
similarly not because of connections in a database. At the end of
this email, I've included a detailed example of how morphology works
directly with SignWriting text.
With SignPuddle, there is an existing security model and data
structure. I'm trying to stay as close as possible to this model so
that we can continue with the current SignPuddle corpus. We have
over 100,000 sign entries and over 1 million written signs.
Each open puddle accepts new entries from any SignPuddle user.
Those users can edit their own entries but not other people's work.
Each puddle can have a list of editors. These editors can edit or
delete any entry.
How these editors behave, how they are chosen, and their
interactions are puddle specific. There is no way for Valerie or I
to moderate each individual choice. However, we are involved in
granting or revoking editor privileges on a per puddle basis. This
give a language community a way to clean up their dictionary on
For some editorial disputes, the right answer is to split a puddle
into 2 different puddles for 2 different groups to work separately.
I am interested in evaluating the status of each sign entry so that
we can improve the content over time and improve the quality of the
search results. To help editors, I've imagined a simple workflow.
For SignPuddle 3, all of the imported content will be marked as
"provisional". This will be the initial quality of the ASL
Dictionary: 10,000 provisional entries.
This is not a negative, but a statement of fact. The quality of the
ASL Dictionary is unknown. Over time, if editors choose to work on
the provisional entries, the numbers will change.
Imagine a year later if the ASL Dictionary reported the following
The search results of the approved entries would be much nicer to
use than the search results of the rejected entries. If the
approved entries didn't contain what I was looking for, I could
search the non-standard or provisional entries.
The status is overloaded for both sign quality (physical production)
and script quality (written image). Both of these would need to be
judged to correctly mark an entry.
To evaluate an entry for "teacher", we would evaluate both the way
it is written and the way it is signed. A good writing for a good
sign may be approved. A good writing of an unusual sign would be
non-standard. Likewise, an unusual writing of a good sign could be
non-standard as well.
If I see a provisional entry that clearly contains an error, it
should be marked as rejected. If that author makes a habit of
checking their writing, they will find one of their entries has been
rejected. If they investigate the reason for the rejection, they
will hopefully learn something new and be able to fix their
I can understand the personal sensibilities of not wanting to judge
the work of others or not wanting to have my work rejected; however,
for the SignPuddle corpus to improve there must be some workflow
that helps get us there.
I've imagined this simple workflow and I'm open to discussion or
The quality of the SignPuddle corpus is evident with the search
results. Without a way to filter content, there is a lot of bad
writing included with a lot of great writing.
PS - Regarding morphology with SignWriting text.
If we search for "teacher" in ASL, we will find the following signs.
These signs are examples of compound morphology because they all
include the end morpheme of person. With SignWriting text, it is
possible to search for this person morpheme. One example query
string is as follows:
For ASL, there are 47 signs that are found with this query.
In English, they have names like:
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If we return to the original teacher list, we can see a different
handshape is used in one of the "teacher" signs. A different query
can find this non-standard entry.
These are the only 2 results that describe the person morpheme in
If we modify the query string for the same handshapes, but in other
palm facings and other rotations, we get more results.
Now, all of this information was entered by SignPuddle users and
searchable within the SignWriting Text. It is a bit of a jungle,
but a very beautiful and interesting place.
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