Studies on Sign Writing

Charles Butler chazzer3 at EROLS.COM
Tue Jul 8 11:38:34 UTC 2003


You could, at least as a compromise, go to the international designation for
norwegian sign language as a written language.  Didn't Rocha get SWML and
the various sw designations as affixes, like filename.sw passed

Getting a Dewey classification for .SW might be a good way to at least have
them all catalogued in the same place, even if the alphabetic designation is
Roman alphabet because of the necessities of computers.

----- Original Message -----
From: Ingvild Roald <ingvild.roald at STATPED.NO>
To: <SW-L at>
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2003 6:45 AM
Subject: Re: Studies on Sign Writing

> Dear David,
> it is wonderful that someone want to do Library research on Sign Writing.
> Unfortunately, I agree with James that even if you can learn to sign
> single signs and even senteces from SignWriting, you do not really learn
> the language  that way.I am afraid that the lack of reading to deaf
> children in ASL or any other signed language cannot be bridged that
> Also, I am concerned about you experiment setup - have your advisors
> really said it would be ok with just one person in each group? Your
> results would then not be deemed scientificcaly valid. A group of a few
> more people in  each group, though, would lend credibility to your
> results. Then your experiment could help show that SignWriting is indeed a
> way to learn how to read (and write) signed languages.
> Another,  quite different library science question comes to mind: As the
> signed languages becomes written languages, how would you go about
> catalouging and indexing them? The symbol sequence exists, but at least
> our Norwegian University LIbarary system know nothing about it, and it
> would presumably be difficult to get the a program to sort. On the other
> hand, dedicating a Dewey system number sequence, either in each country's
> language number sequence or as a whole new set of sequences (but still as
> langugaes, mind you), could be feasible. - At the moment, I am revising
> the Norwegian 'Lessons in Sign Writing', whis has as it primary name the
> sign for 'SignWriting' in NSL. The National Library system refuses that
> name, and they insist on the Norwegian translation. I don't know if you
> see any solution to this problem, which will be a pressing one in a few
> years, I'm sure.
> The best luck with your work,
> Ingvild
> >Valerie,
> >
> >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?

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