Carl Börstell


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Measuring Lexical Similarity across Sign Languages in Global Signbank
Carl Börstell | Onno Crasborn | Lori Whynot
Proceedings of the LREC2020 9th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Sign Language Resources in the Service of the Language Community, Technological Challenges and Application Perspectives

Lexicostatistics is the main method used in previous work measuring linguistic distances between sign languages. As a method, it disregards any possible structural/grammatical similarity, instead focusing exclusively on lexical items, but it is time consuming as it requires some comparable phonological coding (i.e. form description) as well as concept matching (i.e. meaning description) of signs across the sign languages to be compared. In this paper, we present a novel approach for measuring lexical similarity across any two sign languages using the Global Signbank platform, a lexical database of uniformly coded signs. The method involves a feature-by-feature comparison of all matched phonological features. This method can be used in two distinct ways: 1) automatically comparing the amount of lexical overlap between two sign languages (with a more detailed feature-description than previous lexicostatistical methods); 2) finding exact form-matches across languages that are either matched or mismatched in meaning (i.e. true or false friends). We show the feasability of this method by comparing three languages (datasets) in Global Signbank, and are currently expanding both the size of these three as well as the total number of datasets.


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Iconic Locations in Swedish Sign Language: Mapping Form to Meaning with Lexical Databases
Carl Börstell | Robert Östling
Proceedings of the 21st Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics

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Universal Dependencies for Swedish Sign Language
Robert Östling | Carl Börstell | Moa Gärdenfors | Mats Wirén
Proceedings of the 21st Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics


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Morphological Complexity Influences Verb-Object Order in Swedish Sign Language
Johannes Bjerva | Carl Börstell
Proceedings of the Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Linguistic Complexity (CL4LC)

Computational linguistic approaches to sign languages could benefit from investigating how complexity influences structure. We investigate whether morphological complexity has an effect on the order of Verb (V) and Object (O) in Swedish Sign Language (SSL), on the basis of elicited data from five Deaf signers. We find a significant difference in the distribution of the orderings OV vs. VO, based on an analysis of morphological weight. While morphologically heavy verbs exhibit a general preference for OV, humanness seems to affect the ordering in the opposite direction, with [+human] Objects pushing towards a preference for VO.


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Enriching the Swedish Sign Language Corpus with Part of Speech Tags Using Joint Bayesian Word Alignment and Annotation Transfer
Robert Östling | Carl Börstell | Lars Wallin
Proceedings of the 20th Nordic Conference of Computational Linguistics (NODALIDA 2015)