Birgitta Burger


What Comes First: Combining Motion Capture and Eye Tracking Data to Study the Order of Articulators in Constructed Action in Sign Language Narratives
Tommi Jantunen | Anna Puupponen | Birgitta Burger
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We use synchronized 120 fps motion capture and 50 fps eye tracking data from two native signers to investigate the temporal order in which the dominant hand, the head, the chest and the eyes start producing overt constructed action from regular narration in seven short Finnish Sign Language stories. From the material, we derive a sample of ten instances of regular narration to overt constructed action transfers in ELAN which we then further process and analyze in Matlab. The results indicate that the temporal order of articulators shows both contextual and individual variation but that there are also repeated patterns which are similar across all the analyzed sequences and signers. Most notably, when the discourse strategy changes from regular narration to overt constructed action, the head and the eyes tend to take the leading role, and the chest and the dominant hand tend to start acting last. Consequences of the findings are discussed.


Comparing computer vision analysis of signed language video with motion capture recordings
Matti Karppa | Tommi Jantunen | Ville Viitaniemi | Jorma Laaksonen | Birgitta Burger | Danny De Weerdt
Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'12)

We consider a non-intrusive computer-vision method for measuring the motion of a person performing natural signing in video recordings. The quality and usefulness of the method is compared to a traditional marker-based motion capture set-up. The accuracy of descriptors extracted from video footage is assessed qualitatively in the context of sign language analysis by examining if the shape of the curves produced by the different means resemble one another in sequences where the shape could be a source of valuable linguistic information. Then, quantitative comparison is performed first by correlating the computer-vision-based descriptors with the variables gathered with the motion capture equipment. Finally, multivariate linear and non-linar regression methods are applied for predicting the motion capture variables based on combinations of computer vision descriptors. The results show that even the simple computer vision method evaluated in this paper can produce promisingly good results for assisting researchers working on sign language analysis.