Toward a Motor Theory of Sign Language Perception

Sylvie Gibet, Pierre-François Marteau, Kyle Duarte

Researches on signed languages still strongly dissociate lin- guistic issues related on phonological and phonetic aspects, and gesture studies for recognition and synthesis purposes. This paper focuses on the imbrication of motion and meaning for the analysis, synthesis and evaluation of sign language gestures. We discuss the relevance and interest of a motor theory of perception in sign language communication. According to this theory, we consider that linguistic knowledge is mapped on sensory-motor processes, and propose a methodology based on the principle of a synthesis-by-analysis approach, guided by an evaluation process that aims to validate some hypothesis and concepts of this theory. Examples from existing studies illustrate the di erent concepts and provide avenues for future work.

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