An interactive ASL database

Four researchers have worked with a team of deaf scientists and software engineers to create the ASL-LEX database.

The free and searchable database has information on nearly 3,000 signs and is a visualization of the ASL lexicon. This helps users examine how signs are organized in the human mind. How does this work? The researchers write:

For example, if you looked up “tease” in the database, you would learn that this sign is used quite frequently in ASL. A person trying to sign “tease” might think of it more quickly than a rare sign like “linguistics.” ASL-LEX also shows that “tease” is visually similar to – and, in a visual way, rhymes with – other signs, like “ruin.” These related signs might also come to mind while a person thinks of “tease.” Researchers believe this process of calling up similar words or signs helps people speak or sign faster.

You can look at the database here or read more from the researchers here.