Studies on Sign Writing

David Tipton dtipton at BIBLECOLLEGE.EDU
Mon Jul 7 17:04:09 UTC 2003


I am working on my Master of Library Information Science degree. Next summer (2004) I will be working on my final project/thesis. I have been talking to my advisors about an idea that I have. They think it might be good.

First of all, have any studies been done on signwriting? I assume there should be a few. Where can I find them?

Two, my idea is to take someone that already knows sign language and someone that does not know sign language. Teach them both signwriting. Then give them some materials that they have not seen and ask them to read the sign writing to an audience that understands sign language. In theory they should be able to be understood equally well. This could benefit a library through story time readings and ultimately meeting the needs of a population that is not currently being served. What do you think? Are there any studies done like this?

Another idea, is to take to people that do not know sign language and teach one using traditional ASL dictionaries and the other with signwriting dictionaries and compare the results. I would suspect the signwriting dictionaries would be more beneficial and increase the learning rate. Again what do you think and are there any similar studies?

Also, if I decide to do this how should I proceed. I have downloaded the newest version (JAVA), but I am still trying to learn the system. I also have the book talking about the different shapes and movements. But I still have not been able to create anything significant in sign writing (electronically).

Are there any groups in the Central or Southern Ohio area that is using Sign Writing?

By the way, I am currently taking sign language classes at home. My wife and I have a private instructor that is deaf and blind. She "reads" our sign language tactilely. It is really neat. 

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