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Conference Papers Year : 2018

TYPANNOT, a new glyphic system to annotate handshapes in any sign languages

Typannot, un nouveau système de glyphes pour annoter les formes manuels dans les langues de signes

Typannot, un nuovo sistema glifico per annotare le forme manuali in ogni lingua dei segni


There are two main systems of transcription for sign languages (SL): SignWriting [1,2] and HamNoSys [3]. Each of them have been designed for different yet complementary purposes. The first system is oriented towards communication, focusing on readability and using a strong logographic approach. The second one is oriented towards analysis, focusing on searchability and using a strong phonographic approach. Both transcribe the form of signs with a symbolic glyphic system, instead of glosses [4] using vocal glyphic systems. Each of them can be appreciated in their own use and purpose but this separation reveals the incapacity so far to combine both qualities in one system: phonographic searchability and logographic readability. Our aim is to solve this semiotic dichotomy by designing a new highly modular system that can answer the needs of all existing 142 SL [5] around the world (and virtually any SL) to transcribe the handshapes. The development and the use of this system relies on a new graphematic formula and modern typographic technologies such as Opentype and Robofont glyphs automatic generation capacities. The transcription, employing various digital interfaces (virtual keyboards and gestural interfaces), use a modular glyphic structure that allows to stack several levels of description (phonologic [6] and phonetic [7,8]). This system can be actually displayed in two forms, a phonological decomposed sequence (generic form) or a logographical assembled symbol (composed form) in a totally transparent way for the annotator via a universally available opentype functionality (contextual ligatures). The entire list of possible glyphs is very large (tens of thousands), so the keyboard allows to choose the handshapes present in a specific SL, constraining the list to the repertoire of each SL. Once the typographic font is installed on a computer, it is available in any software including ELAN or ANVIL. We developed a graphic visual interface and also a real time gestural recognition (LEAP motion MoCap device [10]) tool to facilitate the selection of the glyphs. The user will be able to actually annotate the signs by gesturing. In this communication, we will present how the font and the devices (virtual keyboard and MoCap interface) work together. Finally, the ratio between annotating time and duration of corpus is one of the well-known problems in annotating SL. We will discuss this ratio on French SL corpora, at different level (generic vs. composed glyphs) and with the said devices. Results make the case for the use of our annotating system including the MoCap input. Bibliography: [1] Sutton, V. (1995). Lessons in SignWriting: Textbook. DAC, LaJolla (CA, USA) [2] Bianchini, C.S. (2012). Analyse métalinguistique de l’émergence d’un système d’écriture des Langues des Signes : SignWriting et son application à la Langue des Signes Italienne (LIS). PhD dissertation (Univ. Paris8 & Univ. Studi Perugia). [3] Prillwitz, S., Leven, R., Zienert, H., Hanke, T., & Henning, J. (1989). Hamburg Notation System for sign languages: an introductory guide. Signum Press, Hamburg. [4] Johnston, T. (2008). Corpus linguistics and signed languages: no lemmata, no corpus. Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages (Marrakesh, Morocco):82-88. [5] Lewis, M.P. (2017). Ethnologue: languages of the world, vers. 20. SIL International. http://www.ethnologue.com [online; accessed: 1/12/2017]. [6] Eccarius, P. & Brentari, D. (2008). Handshape coding made easier: a theoretically based notation for phonological transcription. Sign Language & Linguistics, 11(1): 69-101. [7] Johnson, R. E. & Liddell, S. K. (2011). Toward a Phonetic Representation of Hand Configuration: the fingers. Sign Language Studies, 12(1):5-45. [8] Johnson, R. E. & Liddell, S. K. (2011). Toward a Phonetic Representation of Hand Configuration: the thumb. Sign Language Studies, 12(2):316-333. [9] Wikipedia (2017). OpenType. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenType [online; accessed: 1/12/2017]. [10] Wikipedia (2017). Leap Motion.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_Motion [online; accessed: 1/12/2017].


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hal-02342788 , version 1 (31-05-2020)


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Morgane Rébulard, Claire Danet, Adrien Contesse, Claudia S. Bianchini, Jean-François Dauphin, et al.. TYPANNOT, a new glyphic system to annotate handshapes in any sign languages. 8th Conference of the International Society of Gesture Studies "Gesture and diversity" (ISGS8), Heather Brooks, Jul 2018, Cape Town, South Africa. pp.139-140. ⟨hal-02342788⟩
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