Boston UniversityAmerican Sign Language Lingustic Research Project

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SignStream project
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SignStream 2.2 release - May 2003

A new release of SignStream -- version 2.2 -- is now available. We urge all existing users to upgrade. In addition to incorporating several bug fixes, the new version of the program updates the format of database files (to make it compatible with version 3.0, now under development). We are also releasing additional ASL data, collected in the National Center for Sign Language and Gesture Resources (, which requires version 2.2.

Viewer Applet - June 2003

There is a new Java Applet to allow browsing our SignStream data repository and demonstrate some of the new editing capabilities being developed for SignStream 3.

SignStream in the news

"Facial expressions: New facility will aid in understanding sign language and human movement," by Eric McHenry. Bostonia. Spring 2001

"New facility will aid in understanding sign language and human movement," by Eric McHenry. BU Bridge, Week of 21 January 2000,Vol. III, No. 20, pp. 1, 4.

"Linguists Hope a New Computer Program Will Advance the Study of Sign Language," by Vincent Kiernan. Chronicle of Higher Education, November 7, 1997, pp. A27-28.


In Anthropology News 42:2, April 2001, p. 55
by Richard J. Senghas

SignStream, a Mac-based software package developed especially for analysis of sign language data, has just been significantly enhanced with the release of version 2.0. SignStream now supports multiple synchronized movie files as well as sound files, expanding its usefulness to possibly include spoken data. There is also a new script capability, which makes it possible to select specific subsets of utterances to be viewed in a specific order. Licenses (including site licenses) are extremely affordable, allowing opportunities for advanced coding projects previously limited to well-funded labs. Registered users may upgrade at no cost. (All registered users should already have received information via e-mail about downloading the upgrade materials from the SignStream web site. If you are a registered user but have not received this information, please send e-mail to Previous versions of SignStream will no longer be supported. Further details about the new version are available at the SignStream web site I [RJS] have used this tool for both research and in-class demonstration of linguistic principles to undergraduate audiences. It has proved extremely effective and tends to engage students like few other tools available to me.

See also discussion of SignStream in:

Tony Bigbee, Dan Loehr, and Lisa Harper, Emerging Requirements for Multi-Modal Annotation and Analysis Tools. 2001. In Proceedings, Eurospeech 2001 Special Event: Existing and Future Corpora -- Acoustic, Linguistic, and Multi-modal Requirements.