Skip to main content

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science ((LNAI,volume 7206))

Included in the following conference series:


As the creation of signed language resources is gaining speed world-wide, the need for standards in this field becomes more acute. This paper discusses the state of the field of signed language resources, their metadata descriptions, and annotations that are typically made. It then describes the role that ISOcat may play in this process and how it can stimulate standardisation without imposing standards. Finally, it makes some initial proposals for the thematic domain ‘sign language’ that was introduced in 2011.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Sutton, V.: SignWriting: On the occasion of its 25th anniversary November 1999. Sign Language & Linguistics 2(2), 271–282 (1999)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Cooper, H., Holt, B., Bowden, R.: Sign Language Recognition. In: Looking at People: Automatic Visual Analysis of Humans, Part D, pp. 539–562. Springer (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  3. Dreuw, P., Forster, J., Ney, H.: Tracking Benchmark Databases for Video-Based Sign Language Recognition. In: Proceedings of ECCV International Workshop on Sign, Gesture, and Activity (SGA), Crete, Greece (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  4. Schembri, A., Crasborn, O.: Issues in creating annotation standards for sign language description. In: Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Corpora and Sign Language Technologies. ELDA, Paris (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  5. Crasborn, O., Hanke, T.: Metadata for sign language corpora. In: Background Document for an ECHO Workshop, May 8-9. Radboud University, Nijmegen (2003),

    Google Scholar 

  6. Crasborn, O.: The Sign Linguistics Corpora Network: towards standards for signed language resources. In: Calzolari, N., Choukri, K., Maegaard, B., Mariani, J., Odijk, J., Piperidis, S., Rosner, M., Tapias, D. (eds.) Proceedings of the Seventh conference on International Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2010), pp. 457–460. ELRA, Paris (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  7. Crasborn, O., Mesch, J., Waters, D., Nonhebel, A., van der Kooij, E., Bergman, B., Woll, B.: Sharing sign language data online. Experiences from the ECHO corpus. Int. J. Corpus Linguistics 12(4), 535–562 (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  8. Johnston, T.: From archive to corpus: transcription and annotation in the creation of signed language corpora. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 15(1), 104–129 (2010)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. International Organization for Standardization: Terminology and other language and content resources — Specification of data categories and management of a Data Category Registry for language resources. ISO 12620 (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  10. Kemps-Snijders, M., Windhouwer, M.A., Wittenburg, P., Wright, S.E.: ISOcat: Corralling Data Categories in the Wild. In: European Language Resources Association (ELRA) (ed.) Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2008), Marrakech, Morocco (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  11. International Organization for Standardization: Language resource management — Lexical markup framework (LMF). ISO 24613 (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  12. Kemps-Snijders, M., Windhouwer, M.A., Wittenburg, P., Wright, S.E.: A Revised Data Model for the ISO Data Category Registry. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Terminology and Knowledge Engineering (TKE 2008), Copenhagen, Denmark (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  13. Tervoort, B.T.M.: Structurele analyse van visueel taalgebruik binnen een groep dove kinderen. Noord-Hollandsche Uitgevers Maatschappij, Amsterdam (1953)

    Google Scholar 

  14. Stokoe, W.C., Casterline, D.C., Croneberg, C.G.: A dictionary of American Sign Language on linguistic principles, 2nd edn. Linstok Press, Silver Spring (1965, 1976)

    Google Scholar 

  15. Broeder, D., Declerck, T., Romary, L., Uneson, M., Strömqvist, S., Wittenburg, P.: A Large Metadata Domain of Language Resources. In: Lino, M., Xavier, M., Ferreira, F., Costa, R., Silva, R. (eds.) Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2004), pp. 369–372. European Language Resources Association, Paris (2004)

    Google Scholar 

  16. Schmidt, T., Duncan, S., Ehmer, O., Hoyt, J., Kipp, M., Loehr, D., Magnusson, M., Rose, T., Sloetjes, H.: An Exchange Format for Multimodal Annotations. In: Kipp, M., Martin, J.-C., Paggio, P., Heylen, D. (eds.) Multimodal Corpora. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 5509, pp. 207–221. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  17. Bird, S., Liberman, M.: A formal framework for linguistic annotation. Speech Communication 33, 23–60 (2001)

    Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  18. Nonhebel, A., Crasborn, O., van der Kooij, E.: Sign language transcription conventions for the ECHO project (2004), Online manuscript

  19. Johnston, T.: Auslan Corpus annotation guidelines. Online ms., Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia (2011),

  20. Brien, D. (ed.): Dictionary of British Sign Language/English. Faber & Faber, London (1992)

    Google Scholar 

  21. NSDSK. Nederlandse Gebarentaal op CD-ROM. Communiceren met dove kinderen thuis en op school. Deel 1 (Version 1.00). Nederlandse Stichting voor het Dove en Slechthorende Kind, Amsterdam (1996)

    Google Scholar 

  22. Konrad, R., Schwarz, A., Prillwitz, S.: Fachgebardenlexica. In: Leuninger, H., Wempe, K. (eds.) Gebardensprachlinguistik, pp. 193–216. Signum, Hamburg (2001)

    Google Scholar 

  23. Crasborn, O., Hanke, T.: Additions to the IMDI metadata set for sign language corpora (2003),

  24. Johnston, T.: Transcription and glossing of sign language texts: examples from Auslan (Australian Sign Language). International Journal of Sign Linguistics 2, 3–28 (1991)

    Google Scholar 

  25. Ormel, E., Crasborn, O., van der Kooij, E., van Dijken, L., Nauta, E., Forster, J., Stein, D.: Glossing a multi-purpose sign language corpus. In: Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Corpora and Sign Language Technologies, pp. 186–191. ELDA, Paris (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  26. Cuxac, C.: La Langue des Signes Française (LSF) - Les Voies de l’Iconicité. Faits de Langues 15/16. Ophrys, Paris (2000)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

About this paper

Cite this paper

Crasborn, O., Windhouwer, M. (2012). ISOcat Data Categories for Signed Language Resources. In: Efthimiou, E., Kouroupetroglou, G., Fotinea, SE. (eds) Gesture and Sign Language in Human-Computer Interaction and Embodied Communication. GW 2011. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 7206. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-34181-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-34182-3

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics