ASL Discourse (Guest Speaker Kristin Mulrooney, 3/19/14)

Kristin Mulrooney, Linguistics Professor at Gallaudet University, concluded our ASL series with a lecture on the challenges of creating signing avatars, in particular facial expressions. Her slideshow can be seen here.

NOTES (thanks to AC):



Linguistics Academia applied to the real world
The Facial Action Coding SystemApplication of Linguistics to the Real World

ASL Math Definition Dictionary

  • The face conveys many important aspects of ASL
    • emotion
    • grammatical information
    • ASL mouth gestures
    • English mouthing
    • discourse level information
  • The facial coding system
    • What is it?
      • Developed in the 1970’s to codify facial expressions by Dr. Eckmen
      • Segmented portions of the human face and mapped its movement
    • Found six basic expressions
      • Happiness
      • Fear
      • Anger
      • Surprise
      • Sadness
      • Disgust
    • Use of the facial coding system
      • Can be used to determine lying
      • When someone lies, there are tell signs which can be tracked using FACS
  • Example of Application: VCom3D and Dr. Mulrooney
    • Broad goal: determine another method of language exposure to deaf children
    • Specific goals
      • Create a life like avatar that accurately convey facial expressions
  • FACS and VCom3D
    • After being trained in using FACS, VCom3D began using FACS to create facial expressions
    • The facial expressions were not exactly accurate because certain facial expressions could convey multiple emotions
  • Year 1: Began indexing the facial expressions from previous projects
    • Done!
  • Year 2: Review math definitions that were signed
    • They are currently waiting for the Avatars to be delivered to the researchers

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