Improving the efficacy of automated sign language practice tools
Brashear, Helene Margaret
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The CopyCat project is an interdisciplinary effort to create a set of computer-aided language learning tools for deaf children. The CopyCat games allow children to interact with characters using American Sign Language (ASL). Through Wizard of Oz pilot studies we have developed a set of games, shown their efficacy in improving young deaf children's language and memory skills, and collected a large corpus of signing examples. Our previous implementation of the automatic CopyCat games uses automatic sign language recognition and verification in the infrastructure of a memory repetition and phrase verification task. The goal of my research is to expand the automatic sign language system to transition the CopyCat games to include the flexibility of a dialogue system. I have created a labeling ontology from analysis of the CopyCat signing corpus, and I have used the ontology to describe the contents of the CopyCat data set. This ontology was used to change and improve the automatic sign language recognition system and to add flexibility to language use in the automatic game.