ASL-LEX: A lexical database of American Sign Language

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Description: ASL-LEX is a lexical database that catalogues information about nearly 1,000 signs. It includes the following information: subjective frequency ratings from 25-31 deaf signers, iconicity ratings from 21-37 hearing non-signers, videoclip duration, sign length (onset and offset), grammatical class, and whether the sign is initialized, a fingerspelled loan sign or a compound. Information about English translations is available for a subset of signs (e.g., alternate translations, translation consistency). In addition, phonological properties (sign type, selected fingers, flexion, major and minor location, and movement) were coded and used to generate sub-lexical frequency and neighborhood density estimates. ASL-LEX is intended for use by researchers, educators, and students who are interested in the properties of the American Sign Language lexicon. Data aggregated over signs as well as trial level data are available for download from the "Sign Data" component in the "Files" section below. A key of terminology and a contact sheet with still images of all signs can also be located in the "Sign Data" section. An interactive website where the database can be browsed and downloaded is available at, and a manuscript describing the database is available at

License: Other

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A paper describing the ASL-LEX database can be found here: Caselli, N., Sevcikova, Z., Cohen-Goldberg, A., Emmorey, K. (2016). ASL-Lex: A Lexical Database for ASL. Behavior Research Methods. doi:10.3758/s13428-016-0742-0 For an interactive visualization of the database, please visit:


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  • Sign Data

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