Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)
We created the first large-scale database of signs annotated according to various parameters of iconicity. The signs represent concrete concepts in seven semantic fields in nineteen sign languages; 1542 signs in total. Each sign was annotated with respect to the type of form-image association, the presence of iconic location and movement, personification, and with respect to whether the sign depicts a salient part of the concept. We also created a website: https://sl-iconicity.shinyapps.io/iconicity patterns/ with several visualization tools to represent the data from the database. It is possible to visualize iconic properties of separate concepts or iconic properties of semantic fields on the map of the world, and to build graphs representing iconic patterns for selected semantic fields. A preliminary analysis of the data shows that iconicity patterns vary across semantic fields and across languages. The database and the website can be used to further study a variety of theoretical questions related to iconicity in sign languages.