World’s Largest American Sign Language Database Makes ASL Even More Accessible

By JESSICA COLAROSSI: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The words “joke” and “ruin” might not rhyme in English. But, thanks to a new, interactive database of American Sign Language (ASL), called ASL-LEX 2.0, we can now see that these two words do in fact rhyme in ASL. 

“In ASL, each word has five linguistic parameters: handshape, movement, location, palm orientation, and non-manual signs. Rhymes involve repetition based on one or more of these parameters,” says Michael Higgins, a first-year PhD student in Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development’s Language & Literacy Education program. He is deaf, and has been using the ASL-LEX 2.0 database to investigate the relationship between ASL and English proficiency in deaf children. 

Since launching in February 2021, in conjunction with a published paper highlighting the ways the database has expanded, ASL-LEX 2.0—now the largest interactive ASL database in the world—makes learning about the fundamentals of ASL easier and more accessible. “ASL-LEX 2.0 is an invaluable resource. Being able to access linguistic information—including the five parameters on every sign—in one place is enormously helpful,” Higgins says. 

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