forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Daniela Remião de Macedo
Date:  Tue Feb 2, 1999  8:02 pm
Subject:  Sign Dic

Hello Everyone!
I am glad to see that so much people are interested about Sign Dic. I will
try to answer your questions about it - I hope my English help me! :-)
Sign Dic is not a dictionary, but a computer program that can be used to
create dictionaries and it can also be used for any signed language in the
world, the same way as SignWriting system.
From now on I want to say that when I started to do this work I didn't know
amost anything about Sign Language. Was when I see the SignWriting system
that I had the idea to create a computational tool to organize signs based
on this system.
In the dictionaries generated with Sign Dic, the signs can be sequentially
organized in two different ways: in accordance with their gestual features,
through the description of their internal structures, or in accordance with
the alphabetical ordinance of their respective meanings in a spoken
The internal structure of the sign is the description of its gestual
features. This structure is divided into 4 others substructures:
1) Hand
2) Hand Movement
3) Face
4) Other Body Parts (shoulder, torso, head)
Each one of this substructures have a sequencial list of parameters. The
first parameter is the hand group. So the signs are firstly organized into
one of the ten hand groups of Sign Writing. That's why the Sign Dic Screen
1 posted on the web show a bar on the top with the ten hand groups. Because
that's the first step to search for a sign in the dictionaries.
So depending on the value of each parameter the sign is organized in the
Valerie, could you please post also on the web the other Sign Dic screens
(Hand, HandM, Face, Body). These screens show the images representing each
one of the internal structure parameters and I think that everyone can have
a better idea about the internal structure of the signs.
Below, I discribe the screens 1 and 2:
On left are the options availables on the system, where the user can create
a new dictionary or open one, access the current dictionary information,
include or delete signs, include new icons to represent new
possible values for a parameter of the signs internal structure (for
example, if a new icon to represent a new hand configuration is included to
Sign Writing, it can be also included in Sign Dic by the user), access the
help file and about Sign Dic option.
On right is the search area where there are three scroll boxes that allow
the user to search the information by the sign writing, by an image or by
the word written in oral language.
On the center are the sign information, as its translation to the oral
language, its grammatical classification, a image, its writing in sign
language, its internal structure discribing the sign, a animation that show
better how is the sign movement.
On the top there is a bar that show how is the signs sequencial
organization. The Screen 1 show the group bar, that indicates that the
signs are organized by their internal structure. The user can change this
organization by clicking the 'A B C' button. Then the signs will be
organized by their writing in the oral language, as showed on Screen 2.

Thanks for the messages you have sent me about Sign Dic. If someone
have more questions about it, feel free to ask me.

Daniela Remião de Macedo
Faculdade de Informática - PUCRS - BRASIL
Mestrado em Informática - Sistemas de Computação

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