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OCELLES Project Concepts and Lexicons in Written and Signed Languages Observatory)

Cedric Moreau


The Académie Française institution is assigned and devoted to defending the French language and to making it a common heritage for all French speakers. The French Sign Language (LSF) has never had such a support.

To face this situation, a reference tool has been created, supported by the French Ministries of Education and Culture. This tool is a collaborative website entirely bilingual French and LSF,  which proposes for each concept at least one definition and its associated descriptors in various knowledge fields. Before being spread on-line, the information given by users is examined by experts on form and content, and is validated or rejected by these experts.

Several signs may be proposed and validated for one concept. Our project does not wish to choose the ”ideal sign”, but wants to submit to our identified users all the proposals and to list their comments. A set of information is thus collected for each sign and can be related to users profiles. The website is therefore an exchange platform, but can also be used as a linguistics observatory.

One of our main issues concerning the data organization was to manage to adjust users different viewpoints and different uses of the website. Indeed, our platforms goal is not to make a simple dictionary but to create a network of ontologies. We cannot use a rigid organization model, because our website must constantly evolve and include new concepts and new descriptions or functionalities.

We will first describe our platforms goals, then present our specific data organization which allows for example several classifications to be used simultaneously. We will finally present our current work on integrating direct resources in LSF through linguistic's descriptors defining a sign. We will also show that this data organization allows an easy conversion to other countries sign languages.

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