The lexical database of Auslan (Australian Sign Language)

Trevor Johnston*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The form and content of the lexical database of Auslan (Australian Sign Language) is described and explained. The type of database utilized and its precise structure (relational or flat, the type and number of fields, the design of the data entry interface, etc.) is first described. This is followed by a detailed description of the types of information registered in the database: Phonological, definitional, bilingual (English- based glossing), grammatical, and semantic. The non-gloss based representations of each sign record (graphic, video, and transcription) that are used in the lexical database are then discussed. Finally, the compatibility of the Auslan lexical database with other lexical databases is examined. The paper concludes with a discussion of the possibility of building an extensive “universal” database of signs that could centralize lexical information from scores of signed languages and facilitate cross-linguistic investigations of lexis and phonology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-169
Number of pages25
JournalSign Language and Linguistics (Online)
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Auslan
  • Dictionaries
  • Lexical databases
  • Lexicography
  • Sign language


Dive into the research topics of 'The lexical database of Auslan (Australian Sign Language)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this