Sign Languages (SLs) are the natural languages used in Deaf communities and French Sign Language (LSF) is the one used in France. They are visuo-gestural languages: a person expresses himself / herself in SL using many body components (hands and arms, but also facial components, gaze, torso, etc.) while the interlocutor perceives the message through the visual channel. The linguistic system of SL makes use of these specific channels: numerous pieces of the information are expressed simultaneously and organized in space, and iconicity plays a central role.
To date, SLs have no writing system or standard graphics for transcription. They are still scarcely described and less-resourced (very few reference books, limited lexicons, partial knowledge on grammar, little resource in general). Computer modeling of SL requires designing representations in a domain where little data is available and where pre-existing essentially linear models have been developed for written or spoken languages and do not cover all aspects of SLs.
Through numerous collaborations, we produce linguistic resources and address analysis, representation and processing of Sign Language in an interdisciplinary way. We take views from several fields of computer science (NLP, signal processing, computer graphics), as well as language, movement and perception sciences.