International code for Norwegian Sign Language and others...

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Wed Jul 9 00:39:45 UTC 2003

SignWriting List
July 8, 2003

Hello Everyone, and Charles -
Thanks for these points Charles...this starts getting a little 
complex...I know nothing about the Dewey Decimal system so I want to 
learn more about that later....but regarding the SGN codes...ASL is not 
SGN-EN (smile...that is Signed English). ASL is SGN-US. The US stands 
for the naturally-evolved signed language originating in the 
US....(that is the idea behind it)...Michael explains this in detail in 
the document on the web.

And then, regarding the computer you know, .SWML is the 
name of files that are created in SWML (the SignWriting Markup 
Language). Antonio Carlos brought a new computer program for me to look 
at, when he visited me. It is called SW-Edit, and when it saves a file, 
that file ends in .SWML (it is really cool....!!)

Meanwhile, our SignWriter program creates files that end in 
the SGN is now being used for two different is a file 
made with SignWriter DOS or Java, and the other purpose is as a country 
coding system for Sign Languages in computers...

And the truth is...if a writing system is really being used a 
starts to become "assumed"...for example, if I wanted to learn French - 
I would assume that a course in French would teach speaking, reading 
and writing French...The reading and writing would not be separated 
from learning the language as a whole...

Maybe someday writing Sign Languages in SignWriting will become assumed 
enough, that Sign Language and SignWriting will become one thing, as a 
part of foreign language courses...and if that happens...then libraries 
can categorize written Sign Language books under SGN which doesn't just 
represent SignWriting, but really represents Sign

Val ;-)


On Tuesday, July 8, 2003, at 04:58 PM, Charles Butler wrote:
> Okay, what I was proposing is that, for the purposes of cataloguing, 
> such as in the Norwegian or Dewey Decimal Systems, we use the coding 
> SGN designation for all signed language publications being catalogued, 
> then followed by the country code. 
> Arbitrarily (since I don't know the Dewey Decimal fine tuning, say
> Assume:
> 726.00 Linguistics & Languages
> 726.62 SGN - Publications in Sign Writing - General
> 726.62 SGN - EN - Publications in Sign Writing - ASL-based
> 726.62 SGN - NO - Publications in Sign Writing - Norwegian-based
> 726.62 SWML - Computer programming in Sign Writing
> Then the cataloguers will be happy.  They have a place to put it that 
> actually puts it in . 
> THIS IS AN EXAMPLE, using the SGN prefix as a catchall.
> Valerie Sutton <sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG> wrote:
> SignWriting List
> July 8th, 2003
> Hello Everyone - and Charles ;-)
> On Tuesday, July 8, 2003, at 04:38 AM, Charles Butler wrote:
> > 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
> > internationally?
> That's interesting. I know Antonio Carlos is officially using
> ..SWML...which is another format that we all will be using shortly...
> Meanwhile, regarding official codes for Sign Languages...There is
> already an accepted code for Norwegian Sign Language approved by the
> ISO, because of work that Michael Everson and I did two years
> is SGN-NO.
> The .SGN designation was applied for, to the ISO, from our
> organization, with the help of Michael Everson and his Irish
> organization. The SGN code was accepted as the international code for
> "Sign Languages" in 2000. This was a major accomplishment because it
> was a lot of paperwork and defense. Then later specific names of signed
> languages were approved too....the SGN was extended to state the
> specific native signed language of a country by attaching a dash and
> the country code. So ASL would be SGN-US and Danish Sign Language would
> be SGN-DK. But this does NOT mean that anyone will change the name they
> use for their signed is simply used for computer codes
> in certain circumstances...just as EN is used for English, but we still
> call our language English, and not EN. EN is only used for computers,
> to list which languages we accept within email messages in the email
> headers etc...
> Read three PDF documents about this. Go to:
> SignWriting PDF Library
> Documents 33, 34 and 37.
> Val ;-)
> Do you Yahoo!?
> SBC Yahoo! DSL - Now only $29.95 per month!
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