International code for Norwegian Sign Language and others...

Angus B. Grieve-Smith grvsmth at UNM.EDU
Wed Jul 9 10:12:40 UTC 2003

        I disagree with the idea of making up Dewey Decimal codes (or
Library of Congress codes, which is the other main system in use in the
US).  Neither system categorizes texts by language or writing system.
Here's an example from the NYU library catalog containing a work by
Derrida in French, and its English translation:

PQ2631.O643 Z62 1984 Derrida, Jacques. / Signponge = Signsponge / (1)
PQ2631.O643 Z62 1988 Derrida, Jacques. / Signponge / (1)

        They have the exact same call number, but they have different
publication dates.  If they had been published the same year, there would
just have been an "A" or a "B" after the year.

        The only thing that would have to be in SignWriting would be the
title, so maybe that could be in some numeric representation of the
Sign-Symbol-Sequence, or even in SWML.  This is one reason I like
Roman-alphabet based systems like Newkirk 1986; you can just type it in.

        Fiction is usually catalogued according to which cultural
tradition it belongs in, so translations of Goldilocks ought to go with
all the other versions of Goldilocks.  There is probably a category for
Deaf-themed literature (Train Go Sorry's call number is HV2561.N72 N35
1995 at NYU), so any original Deaf-themed literature would probably go in
with that.

                                        -Angus B. Grieve-Smith
                                        Linguistics Department
                                        University of New Mexico
                                        grvsmth at
                                        grvsmth at

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